As a four-time winner in whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People competition, Mercer County, W.Va., continues to address the needs of its youth with fervor, despite the community's challenges. High poverty rates, low income, and unemployment have motivated Mercer County to provide a safe and supportive environment for youth and families through the implementation of well-founded programs.
The Creating Opportunities for Youth (COFY) coalition has encouraged youth to make a difference in their community through the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. Thanks to strong collaborations with local partners, COFY has gained equal representation across all sectors of the community and has a proven track record of significantly reducing tobacco and alcohol use.
Because cultural norms in Mercer County fail to promote chronic disease prevention, community agencies have partnered to provide preventive screenings for youth, and the local health department provides community health assessments and outreach services.
No matter the obstacle, Mercer County will continue to aim for the best possible well-being of its residents.