Tagged “College Career And Citizenship Readiness”

Midwestern Culture Cultivates Rich Opportunities for Youth

Omaha, Neb.

Incorporating student voice, engagement, and overall well-being into the community are top priorities in Omaha, Neb. Nestled in an environment with strong Midwestern values, the city has a deep understanding and focus on creating a collaborative pathway to achievement so that its youth can succeed.

Interactive leadership programs, like Youth Leadership Omaha and the City of Omaha's Mayor's Youth Commission, have allowed students to examine their community in full and participate in addressing community needs to promote long-term wellness. A dedication to the growth of youth is also evident in volunteering, receiving mentoring services, and gaining preparation for post-secondary education that are easily accessible through local nonprofit organizations, like Building Bright Futures and the Midlands Mentoring Partnership.

Omaha, Neb., is a first-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

From Health to Career Exploration, Youth Involvement Is Priority

Mankato-North Mankato, Minn.

Four-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition, Mankato-North Mankato, Minn., understands that investing in the development of long-lasting partnerships that cater to youth well-being is crucial.

A variety of programs, like the Mankato Area Healthy Youth (MAHY), Envision 2020, and Greater Mankato Growth, strive to keep youth involvement a top priority. MAHY encourages kids to stay healthy, while Envision 2020 motivates youth and their families to participate in the planning process of a 10-year community priorities plan. Greater Mankato Growth furthers youth engagement by aligning classroom learning with career exploration, allowing students access to internships and job shadowing.

Enriching Young People From Elementary Through College

Kalamazoo, Mich.

Kalamazoo, Mich., is an exemplary community hub for young people and a two-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

Focused on providing resources for youth in elementary school through college, the community has created enriching opportunities that will continue to foster youths' academic and nonacademic potential. The dedication is shown through community-wide programs, like the Kalamazoo Youth Development Network that has linked 82 agencies together to ensure that a wide variety of services are available to youth. For every graduate of the Kalamazoo Public Schools, the Kalamazoo Promise guarantees free college tuition at public colleges and universities in Michigan (if requirements are met). Over $17 million has been invested by donors to provide more than 1,500 students with post-secondary education.

A Center For Youth Empowerment

Bradenton/Manatee County, Fla.

Four-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition, Bradenton/Manatee County in Florida exemplifies youth empowerment. Residents, schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses place huge importance on intergenerational partnerships, enabling students to gain a strong sense of unity and volunteerism through numerous opportunities.

Twelve thousand youth participate in service programs annually, contributing more than 1.6 million hours to serving their community. Civic engagement programs, like The ManaTEEN Club and Helping Others Lead, Learn, and Achieve, serve as platforms for youth to truly exhibit leadership skills, including offering service opportunities for youth as young as 5.

Youth Well-Being Serves as Priority

Norwalk, Conn.

Youth truly serve as the ultimate priority in Norwalk, Connecticut. With a slew of educational resources and varied youth services that range from recreational leagues to financial literacy workshops to after-school programs, one third of Norwalk's adults volunteer their time to work with youth to ensure that they have all the opportunities necessary to nurture their academic and nonacademic potential.

Programs like the Center for Youth Leadership have received many awards for activism in the community and social change. Norwalk's commitment to providing for its youth speaks to why the community is recognized as one of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People.

Community Enrichment and Cultural Experiences

Anchorage, Alaska

Community collaboration full of diverse and proactive engagement continues to create a wonderful place to live in Anchorage, Alaska, a four-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

The effects of decisions related to youth and families play a key role in community activities and programs, such as the Youth Advisory Commission and the Supportive Adult Relationships Coalition, that have helped members of the Anchorage community voice their opinions and raise awareness about services ranging from education to housing.

Spirit of Youth and the Good News-Great Kids serve as motivational programs that offer financial support and recognition to youth who value community service and have overcome obstacles in their lives. The unique enrichment, cultural experiences, and focus on the well-being of its residents truly makes Anchorage a vibrant and engaging place to live.

High School Overcomes Poverty and Unemployment Issues in Stride

Columbus Unified High School, Columbus, Kans.

"We're here and committed to our school" is the rallying cry at Columbus Unified High School in Columbus, Kans. Because the poverty (45 percent) and unemployment (25 percent) rates are obstacles in the community, Principal Steven Jameson understands how important it is for his students to graduate high school with strong skills in reading, writing, and math.

Because the school is determined to give students a home away from home that provides endless motivation, support, and guidance, seminar teachers become personal adult advocates for each student to ensure that they reach their goals before and after graduation. The MetLife Foundation and whole child partner National Association of Secondary School Principals recognized Columbus Unified High School as a 2011 Breakthrough School.

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Fast, Free, Online: The ASCD School Improvement Tool

Designed for use in schools and districts, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment.