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Pitt County Named 100 Best Communities for Young People

October 12, 2011 – Pitt County has achieved national recognition as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING for its initiatives to help young people. The competition recognizes communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing service and support to their youth.

Pitt County has been recognized by America’s Promise Alliance as one of its 2011 100 Best Communities for Young People because of the county’s efforts to make youth a community priority through youth leadership, healthy eating, dropout prevention and art programs. A third-time 100 Best winner, Pitt County is diverse with a major university and a community technical college, a regional medical center, and a growing manufacturing industry. The county’s emphasis on cross-sector collaboration and supporting academic success is evident in the Pitt County Impact Alliance, a coalition that has named Dropout Prevention initiatives a top priority and has decreased Pitt County’s dropout rate by 25 percent.

“We are proud of Pitt County for being named one of the America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best,” said Pitt County Manager Scott Elliott. “This award recognizes the hard work of many community members that have dedicated their time to making a difference in the lives of our young people.”

“In a nation where 7,000 students drop out of high school every day, we hope Pitt County’s initiatives inspire other communities across the nation to take action to solve the challenges facing their young people,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “Pitt County is especially deserving of this recognition due to their efforts to ensure that their young people graduate high school and go on to lead healthy, productive lives. Pitt County refuses to let the challenges they face determine the future for their young people. Instead, they are helping their youth prosper and become contributing members of society.”

At noon EST on Oct. 12, 2011, Kondracke will join America’s Promise Alliance Chair Alma Powell and ING Foundation President Rhonda Mims at the Newseum in Washington, DC, to officially announce the 100 winning communities in a live webcast.

“The issues surrounding youth education and success are of vital importance to ING” said Mims. “Our ongoing support for 100 Best underscores our commitment to the cause and the value we place on recognizing communities that produce measurable results for youth.”

Pitt County will receive a $2,500 grant, signage identifying the community as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, and access to America’s Promise Alliance’s community development resources.

First held in 2005, the 100 Best competition is one of the Alliance’s signature initiatives and is part of its Grad Nation campaign, which is a 10-year initiative to mobilize Americans to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. The 100 Best honors communities large and small, rural and urban, that are making progress to help young people achieve their potential, which includes earning a high school diploma, securing a good job, and playing an active, productive role in America’s economic vitality.

All communities entering the 100 Best competition completed a rigorous application where they provided details on how their existing programs and initiatives help deliver the Five Promises – resources identified by the Alliance as being critical to the development of healthy, successful children: caring adults; safe places; healthy start; effective education; and opportunities to help others. Applicants were also asked to describe how different sectors of their community work together to help children and families overcome challenges. Most importantly, communities were judged on the strength and innovation of their efforts and programs to help young people graduate from high school prepared for college and the 21st century workforce.

This year, more than 300 communities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were nominated for the 100 Best distinction. Winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of 20 judges that included: Marc Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League, Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Michelle Shearer, Chemistry Teacher, Urbana High School, 2011 National Teacher of the Year.

The winners are a diverse group, ranging from small communities to large cities. A list of all 2011 winners can be found at www.americaspromise.org/100best

Kiara Jones
Director of Public Information & Media Relations
Pitt County Office of Public Information
252.902.2955

http://www.pittcountync.gov/apps/news/article.asp?PageID=783&DeptID=26