Special to the Mirror
MONTROSE—Once again, Montrose County has been named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People. The national award was given to Montrose County organizations to recognize their outstanding and innovative work in addressing the high school dropout crisis and for programs and services that make this an outstanding place for youth to live, learn and grow.
Montrose County, a second-time 100 Best winner, was honored again for its continued emphasis on building youth leaders and providing after-school activities and assistance for disadvantaged youth. The following organizations came together to submit the 100 Best Communities grant proposal: Montrose County School District, Montrose Community Foundation, Town of Olathe, County of Montrose, City of Montrose, Montrose Library District and Montrose Recreation District.
“Being named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best is significant and meaningful to the entire community,” said Melanie Hall, director, Montrose Community Foundation. “So many dedicated people and programs contributed to this win and it further reinforces our belief that a focus on youth pays dividends to the entire community.”
“As young people across the country go back to school, it is especially timely to recognize communities like Montrose County that have come together to make supporting young people a top priority and that are committed to helping young Americans reach their full potential,” said John Gomperts, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “The 100 Best winners are doing outstanding work delivering the Five Promises that create the conditions for all young people to have the best chance for success. We hope the example set by these communities provides inspiration for others to take action.”
Montrose 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. The $2,500 will be used to enhance future leaders of our community through the schools Club6S Program. The Club6S program was made available through the first award of 100 Best Communities in 2011. Club6S is utilizing a Leadership & Critical Thinking Curriculum. The Leadership & Critical Thinking Curriculum is unique, tested, and proven. It helps educators teach over 20 important life skills that all young people need, beginning with the most critical: communication, decision making, and goal setting. “Club6S is an investment in the future, Hall said, “Helping to educate our local youth is, in some ways a front-end investment”. 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 America’s Promise as being critical to the development of healthy, successful children: caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; effective education; and opportunities to help others. Applicants also were 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.
In its sixth year, the competition experienced its greatest interest to date with nominations from more than 320 communities representing all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of judges that included 2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki, 2012 National Superintendent of the Year Heath Morrison, National Urban League President Marc Morial, and GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. A list of all 2012 winners can be found at AmericasPromise.org/100Best.
About America’s Promise Alliance America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest partnership dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. We bring together more than 400 national organizations representing nonprofit groups, businesses, communities, educators and policymakers. Through our Grad Nation campaign, we mobilize Americans to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. Building on the legacy of our Founding Chairman General Colin Powell, America’s Promise believes the success of young people is grounded in the Five Promises—Caring Adults, Safe Places, A Healthy Start, Effective Education, and Opportunities to Help Others. For more information, visit AmericasPromise.org.