January 24, 2008America's Promise Recognizes City for Variety and Quality of Youth Resources
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that New York City has again been named one of the country's 100 Best Communities for Young People by America's Promise for a second consecutive year. Founded by General Colin L. Powell, America's Promise is the nation's largest private-public partnership committed to ensuring that every child receives the fundamental resources they need to succeed. The winners were announced this morning on the Today Show. More than 300 rural, suburban and urban communities from all 50 states participated in the competition. New York City's application was submitted by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the City's lead agency for youth services, and included contributions from the Department of Education, Administration for Children's Services, Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, Department of Juvenile Justice, Human Resources Administration, the Department of Health and Mental Health , and numerous foundations and community-based organizations.
"New York City is one of America's 100 Best Communities for Young People because our youth programs are fueled by the same energy and dynamism that defines the Big Apple," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Winning this prestigious award for the second consecutive year underscores our commitment to building on what works. I take this opportunity to applaud the countless individuals and organizations that are committed to providing our young people with opportunities and the tools to lead successful lives."
"With more than 30,000 non-profit organizations, New York City offers our young people an unprecedented array of high-quality services tailored to their specific needs," said DYCD Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. "The 100 Best Communities for Young People award is a heartening indication that we are on the right track. We will continue to build on our successes and strengthen New York's reputation as a great place to grow up."
New York City was selected on the strength of its individual programs, a commitment to collaboration, and upward trends in many children and youth outcomes indicators. One highlight was the Teen ACTION (Achieving Change Together In Our Neighborhood) program, which is part of the Center for Economic Opportunity's anti-poverty initiative, and which offers youth a chance to engage in service projects that reflect their priorities and input.
The application also showcased Youth Financial Empowerment, an Administration for Children's Services initiative that provides 450 youth in foster care with Individual Development Accounts that encourage participants to save money for future housing and education costs.
"The prosperity of every community and this country depends on how well we care for our children and youth," said Marguerite W. Kondracke, President and CEO, America's Promise Alliance, "Although no place is perfect, when we have communities that make young people a priority and are working to make sure they stay in school and have all the resources necessary to lead healthy, productive lives, we must recognize them and by extension inspire other cities and towns to follow their lead."
100 Best Communities for Young People was launched in 2005 by General Powell in partnership with Capital One Financial Corporation. New York City and the other winners applied and were chosen by a distinguished selection panel of civic, business and nonprofit leaders, including Gayle Manchin, first lady of West Virginia; United Way President Brian Gallagher; former Mayor of Denver and President of Webb Group International, Wellington Webb; Thomas Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Carol Coletta, President and CEO, CEOs for Cities; Christine James-Brown, President and CEO, the Child Welfare League of America; and Dr. Suzanne Morse, Executive Director of the Pew Partnership for Civic Change.
All communities that completed entries in the 100 Best competition were required to submit detailed information to the Alliance on existing community programs and initiatives that help deliver the Five Promises-resources identified by America's Promise as being critical to the development of healthy, successful children: caring adults; safe places; healthy start; effective education; and opportunities to help others; to their young people. A complete list of winners can be found at www.americaspromise.org.