Providence Named One of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance and ING

PROVIDENCE, RI – (September 23, 2012) Mayor Angel Taveras’ Children & Youth Cabinet (CYC) held a watch party today in the Aldermen’s Chamber at City Hall to watch a national telecast in which Providence was named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING.

The national award was given to Providence to recognize its outstanding and innovative work in addressing the high school dropout crisis and for its programs and services that make it an outstanding place for youth to live, learn and grow.

“Being named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best is further evidence of Providence’s commitment to providence our youth with high-quality after-school programs and community leadership opportunities, and addressing all issues of importance to youth,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “So many dedicated people and programs contributed to this win and it further reinforces our belief that a focus on youth pays dividends across our city.”

Providence 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.

Four-time 100 Best winner Providence was honored for its AfterZone program, an initiative of the nationally recognized Providence After School Alliance, which serves more than 1,600 middle school youth annually after school at school-centered “campuses” located around the city that provide programming in academic enrichment, arts, life skills and sports. Providence has previously been named among the 100 Best Communities for Young People in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

Providence also allows its young people to take leadership roles in the community. The Youth4Change Alliance – a coalition of four Direct Action for Rights and Equality, the Providence Youth Student Movement, Young Voices, and Youth In Action— has worked to enable young people to act as decision-makers in public policy. The Y4C Alliance created the Providence Youth Bill of Rights to address issues of importance to youth including education, employment, health, safety and transportation.  Y4C also collaborated successfully with the Providence Public Schools and RIPTA to increase access to transportation for ninth grade students this fall.

“As young people across the country go back to school, it is especially timely to recognize communities like Providence 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.”

“The increase we have seen in graduation rates over the past few years is due, in large part, to the hard work communities such as Providence have done to make sure their youth have access to an outstanding education and support services,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and head of the ING U.S. Office of Corporate Responsibility. “It is also important for ING to partner with organizations such as America’s Promise Alliance so we can share these best practices and play a role in improving student achievement and the nation’s economy.”

The 100 Best competition is part of the Grad Nation campaign, a large and growing movement of individuals, organizations and communities working together to end the dropout crisis. The goal of Grad Nation is to raise the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020, with no school graduating fewer than 80 percent of its students on time.

Providence’s designation as an America’s Promise Alliance 100 Best Communities for Young People is the most recent in a string of national honors Providence has received for its work with students and youth. Earlier this summer, Providence was named an All-America City by the National Civic League today based on our ambitious plan to ensure that more children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade; and the Annie E. Casey Foundation selected Providence as the first site for Evidence2Success, a new approach to investing in programs that promote healthy child development.

A list of all 2012 winners can be found at

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