Anchorage Honored for Commitment to Youth for Sixth Year
September 2012, Anchorage, Alaska – The Municipality of Anchorage & Anchorage’s Promise has achieved national recognition as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People for the sixth time. The competition is sponsored by the ING Foundation, and honorees include communities from 42 states across the country. The national award was given to Anchorage to recognize its exceptional 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. Anchorage was selected because of its success in reaching out to a uniquely diverse community, and for its collaborative approach to serving young people and keeping them engaged.
“Being named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best for the sixth time is quite an honor,” said Dick Wells, Board President, Anchorage’s Promise. “So many dedicated people and programs have contributed to this win, and it further reinforces our belief that a focus on youth pays dividends to the entire community.”
Anchorage makes young people a priority through youth-centered programs and the collaborative involvement of its many volunteers and non-profit organizations. Anchorage’s youth are encouraged and often invited to participate in legislative and school board proceedings, and to take an active role in their local government. During public forums or annual events such as Anchorage’s Promise KidsDay, young people are frequently able to interact with community leaders, legislators, or even Senators. The high level of involvement makes a difference in how our youth are perceived, resulting in a safer community for all. Local non-profits including Special Olympics, YWCA, the Salvation Army, Covenant House, Royal Family Kids Camps, Kids Kitchen, and Alaska Food Bank provide many programs and services for underserved youth, creating an uplifting and healthy environment in which they can thrive. Anchorage United for Youth (AUY) works toward a coordinated community effort to increase high school graduation rates, reduce youth substance abuse, and decrease juvenile crime. Anchorage also has numerous opportunities for youths to connect with caring adults through sports, recreational activities, school based and faith based programs, and generous organizations such as Catholic Social Services, Boys & Girls Clubs, Campfire, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Alaska Military Youth Academy, Parachutes Teen Center, and Cook Inlet Tribal Council. Excellent health centered services are readily available as well; Denali KidCare, Children’s Hospital at Providence, Alaska Regional Hospital, Safe Kids Alaska, and Alaska Health Fair all provide first-rate care to ensure the long term health and safety of our youth. Finally, the community consistently shows its support for helping our children and youth succeed in school through the passage of school bonds, maintenance of school programs, and close relationships between parents and teachers.