FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, Spetember 26, 2005
America's Promise Alliance Names Denver One of 100 Best Communities for Young People
Winners Recognized for Efforts to Help Young People Succeed
September 26, 2005: America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth today announced that Denver is an honoree in a first-ever national competition to identify 100 Best Communities for Young People. The winning communities – ranging from small towns to urban neighborhoods across America – are being celebrated for their commitment to provide healthy, safe and caring environments for young people.
Denver is receiving the 100 Best honor, in part, because of the policies and innovative programs in that community that support healthy children and youth. Some examples of Denver’s innovative work include: Invest in Success, Mayor John Hickenlooper’s early childhood education initiative that is exploring how to offer the highest quality early childhood education to the most number of Denver children; the City’s 5-by-5 Project, which offers free cultural experiences to Denver’s Head Start Families, and the Lights on After-School (LOAS) initiative, a partnership of the Denver Public Schools Foundation, the Mile High United Way, and the Mayor’s Office for Education and Children aimed at strengthening, sustaining and expanding quality after-school programs.
Loveland/Ft. Collins is the other Colorado community that made the national list. A complete list of winners can be found at www.americaspromise.org. Members of America’s Promise Alliance — including United Way of America, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Junior Achievement and the YMCA and many others — took leading roles in the 100 Best competition. 100 Best Communities for Young People was launched in partnership with Capital One Financial Corporation.
America's Promise Founding Chairman General Colin Powell launched the competition in May and Denver applied for a place on the prestigious list. Denver and the other winners were chosen by a distinguished selection panel of civic, business and nonprofit leaders, including United Way of America President Brian Gallagher, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert, baseball great Cal Ripken Jr., and former Denver mayor Wellington Webb, to name a few. The full selection panel and criteria are available at www.americaspromise.org.
The selection panel evaluated 100 Best entries that required detailed information about each community’s efforts to fulfill five essential promises critical to the well-being of young people: caring adults who are actively involved in their lives; safe places in which to learn and grow; a healthy start toward adulthood; an effective education that builds marketable skills; and opportunities to help others.
“We have had an amazing response from hundreds of communities, large and small, from Alaska to Florida,” said Marguerite W. Sallee, President and CEO of America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth. “Our purpose for launching this competition is to appeal to America’s competitive spirit to encourage communities to become great places to grow up. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we have seen some inspiring examples of what can happen when communities across the country pull together to help people in times of urgent need. In the 100 Best communities, we have witnessed that same spirit at work in making the well-being of their children an urgent priority. Their outstanding efforts – to measure how well their children and youth are doing, to put more resources in place, and to form cross-sector partnerships – provide shining examples of what it means to keep America’s Promise for our young people.”
“Denver’s economic future and sustainability is based on the education, health and security of our children,” said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. “We are thrilled to receive this national recognition for our local community efforts to support Denver youth and families, a feat that could not be achieved without the collaborative efforts of the City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools, and our active non-profit community.”
“I’d like to congratulate Denver and our Mayor for the leadership that is reflected in this award,” said Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet. “For our children’s sake, our task is to build a big-city school district in Denver that is second to none.”
“We are proud to be a part of this important effort to highlight the innovative efforts taking place in communities throughout the United States to create healthy and supportive environments for our children,” said Capital One’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel John Finneran. “Like America’s Promise, Capital One recognizes that helping to build strong and healthy communities – good places to do business and good places to raise families – benefits us all.”
To honor the 100 Best communities selected, the America’s Promise Alliance will hold a special event November 2nd in Washington, D.C. This celebration will be dedicated to the children affected by Hurricane Katrina, highlighting outstanding community initiatives across the country that are providing displaced children with the services and support that they need to thrive no matter where they are. All proceeds from this event will go toward helping the children impacted by Katrina.
The Alliance will also sponsor a yearlong celebration including a special day in each of the winning communities and a series of regional forums across the country that will enable communities to share their success stories and learn effective strategies from one another that will further enrich the lives of their young people.
“The applications revealed communities that care about their kids and are working together to make their futures better. We saw leaders and people genuinely engaged and full of pride in their towns. Together, they have strengthened my faith in our great country.”
For more details about the 100 Best competition and the winners, please visit www.americaspromise.org.
About America’s Promise America’s Promise is a broad-based alliance whose members work together to ensure the well-being of children and youth. Alliance partners focus attention and resources to help every child receive the Five Promises essential to success: caring adults who are actively involved in their lives; safe places in which to learn and grow; a healthy start toward adulthood; an effective education that builds marketable skills; and opportunities to help others.
Founded by retired General Colin L. Powell, following the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in 1997, the America’s Promise Alliance includes nonprofit, corporate and community groups as well as individuals across the nation. Alma J. Powell currently serves as chair.
America's Promise grew out of the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in 1997, where Presidents Bush, Carter, Clinton and Ford, with Nancy Reagan representing President Reagan, challenged the country to make children and youth a national priority. President George W. Bush affirmed his commitment in 2001.
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