Youth Services’ Whitney Dobbins’ passion for learning makes impact on kids

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. (January 19, 2023) – Whitney Dobbins, the program and special events coordinator for Pulaski County Youth Services, uses her leadership experience and lessons from her family to make an impact in the lives of the youth she serves.

Throughout high school and college, Dobbins volunteered and worked with youth, which fostered her passion for encouraging youth to have self-esteem and self-love. 

She received a psychology degree and a minor in family and consumer sciences from the University of Central Arkansas and afterward worked as a preschool teacher.  Dobbins, of Jacksonville, said she was able to use the tools she learned in school and the values her mom and grandmother taught her to build up the children she was teaching.

In 2013, she started working part-time for Pulaski County Youth Services and later became the Little Scholars Audubon after-school program director. This year marks her 10th year working for Pulaski County.

In her current role, she oversees Shoe into Success, ACT Prep, and the juvenile justice program.

“This job allowed me to be able to meet the unspoken needs of many of the youth in the program,” Dobbins said.  “I took this opportunity to connect these youth and family to any of the resources they may be in need of.” 

Her leadership training and family lessons helped Dobbins mentor many youths throughout her career.  

“Some of my favorite events we have hosted have been family engagement nights, Shoe into Success, fall festival, and summer programming activities,” Dobbins said.  “I think what keeps me inspired is the impact on the youth. I worked with [them] when they were six and seven, [and they] are now sending invites to their events and graduations.”

Dobbins said that the youth and families staying connected lets her know that she made some impact in an area of their lives. 

Outside of Youth Services, Dobbins served on the Little Rock School District Volunteers in Public Schools board and worked with various nonprofits on different service projects. 

Dobbins has a daughter and is the owner of a small business called Girly Girls Mobile Spa and More located in North Little Rock. Girly GirlsLR focuses on building high esteem through creative play and also it gives parents another outlet for the youth to be themselves in a safe environment. 

“A quote I love is ‘It’s free to be kind.’

Dobbins said she knows that no matter what happens in life when she tries with good intent there will be a greater reward in the end, despite the road it took to get there.