By Susan A. Baird
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – The City of Providence has been ranked by the America’s Promise Alliance as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, for the third consecutive year.
The winners – announced yesterday on NBC’s “The Today Show” – ranged from small towns to big cities. They were chosen for their commitment to youth and their efforts to provide healthy, safe and caring environments to help young people to succeed.
“The 100 Best competition is more important than ever, because it’s become harder for cities and towns to focus on the needs of their children with all the challenges facing them – and we see the impact of this in our dismal high school graduation rates,” said Marguerite Kondracke, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance.
“These communities rose above, and through their actions remind us that there are cities and towns that are going the extra mile everyday to make sure young people reach their potential. On behalf of the Alliance, I congratulate these communities and call on others to follow their lead.”
Providence was selected largely because of the Providence After School Alliance – a network of after-school programs and services for middle-school students – and because of the city’s apprenticeship and arts programs for young people, according to Mayor David N. Cicilline.
“There is nothing more important than the healthy development of our kids, so it is an honor to be singled out for our work with PASA AfterZones and for our continued commitment to young people,” the mayor said. “It is really a testament to all the men and women across Providence who work so hard every day to enrich the lives of Providence kids.”
The contest attracted nearly 750 participants from more than 50 communities, in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and the Territory of Puerto Rico. They were evaluated based on each community’s commitment to the “Five Promises” of America’s Promise: providing safe places in which youth can learn and grow; caring adults who are actively involved in their lives; an effective education that builds marketable skills; a healthy start toward adulthood; and opportunities to serve others.
The America’s Promise Alliance, founded by former Gen. Colin Powell, is a nonprofit organization that seeks to forge alliances among corporations, philanthropists, nonprofits, policymakers, advocates and faith groups committed to ensuring that children receive the resources they need to lead successful, healthy and productive lives. Additional information, including a full list of this year’s winners, is available at www.AmericasPromise.org.