For Immediate Release
For the Fourth Year, Lakewood, wash., Named One of Nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People
America’s Promise competition recognizes the city for innovative efforts to provide local youth with essential services
LAKEWOOD, Wash. (September 21, 2010)
The extraordinary efforts of Lakewood civic and community leaders were honored today when America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to youth and children, announced the city has been named a winner of the Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People competition. Chaired by retired General Colin L. Powell, America’s Promise strives to provide youth with five fundamental resources – or “wrap-around supports” that young people need for success in life. This year’s recognition marks the fourth win for Lakewood in the competition.
The 100 Best designation recognizes communities that make youth a priority by implementing programs that help keep children in school, and prepare them for college and the 21st century workforce. Lakewood is one of just four communities in Washington state that were recognized during today’s award ceremony held at the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.
“Through its innovative and far-reaching programs, Lakewood is taking bold and effective steps to help their young people graduate and lead healthy, productive lives,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “Lakewood serves as an example to inspire and educate other communities across the nation to tackle the challenges facing their city and children and to implement initiatives that give them the essential resources they need to succeed in life.”
The focal point of Lakewood’s youth outreach efforts is Lakewood’s Promise, an organization that coordinates and supports the efforts of nonprofit organizations serving youth throughout Lakewood.
“Lakewood’s Promise is a dynamic organization that is aimed at creating better lives for our young people,” said Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz. “At the root of the organization is the commitment to provide the “Five Promises,” which have been identified by America’s Promise, to our youth in Lakewood. I don’t know of any other organization in the state that has done so much to help local at-risk kids.”
The programs and services supported through Lakewood’s Promise are built around a framework that helps ensure young people have access to developmental resources that they need for success in life. The “Five Promises” are:
- Caring Adults
- Safe Places
- A Healthy Start
- Effective Education
- Opportunities to Help Others
Children who receive at least four of the Five Promises are much more likely than those who experience only one or none of the “Promises” to succeed academically, socially and civically.
The America’s Promise Alliance competition is open to all communities that make children and youth a priority, including small towns, large cities, counties and school districts. The competition is one element of the Alliance’s Grad Nation campaign, a 10-year initiative to mobilize all Americans to take action in their communities to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. This year, the competition was presented by ING, a global financial services company and leading provider of retirement plans and programs for teachers.
About 100 Best
First held in 2005, 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. This year, more than 350 communities in 50 states registered online for the 100 Best distinction at www.americaspromise.org/100best.
About America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. Through the collective power of our partner network, we raise awareness, support communities and engage in nonpartisan advocacy to ensure that young people receive more of the fundamental resources they need to graduate high school prepared for college, work and life. Building on the legacy of our Founding Chairman General Colin Powell, the Alliance believes the success of our young people is grounded in the Five Promises—caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others. For more information about America’s Promise Alliance, visit www.americaspromise.org .
About Lakewood, Washington
Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the fifteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 1,100 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to McChord Air Force Base, Fort Lewis and Camp Murray, all major military installations. In 2008, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the third year.
In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; five golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few. The city also is the gateway to: Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.