Conway community member Gladys Sullivan has answered a calling. Children have been in Sullivan’s life for many years. She started working at a local childcare center in early 1998. "To be honest with you, I did it for the money at first," said Sullivan.

Sullivan explained that children have a way of making you look at things from a different perspective. "I worked there until 2003. While I was there the children inspired me to do more. At this point money didn’t matter," she said.

The ROC-Reaching Our Children Youth Center is a nonprofit organization for children ages 5-18. It will provide a series of structured and unstructured activities that range from homework help to college and job preparation.

The ROC-Youth Center has teamed up with Arkansas Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) Coalition to provide programs that prepare students for work in STEM jobs.

Sullivan explains that there is an emphasis on school students who come from at-risk or low-income areas. Programs will be available for before and after school, additionally summer programs will be available starting Summer 2014.

"ROC’s Summer Program provides a well structured, safe and all around nurturing environment. Children can work on improving their reading and writing skills at their grade levels, learn critical thinking skill in science and math, language arts, and social science, enjoy our various arts and crafts classes," and much more, said the ROC web site.

In addition to providing educational activities and other services, ROC will offer breakfast, after school snacks, and dinner from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The first summer session will introduce a preliminary sliding fee scale. It is anticipated that after this preliminary stage all services will be provided for free.

For more information visit the ROC Youth Center web site or contact Gladys Sullivan at