America's Promise Alliance and the ING Foundation Partner to Recognize the 100 Best Communities for Young People
The America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance) today announced a three-year partnership with the ING Foundation to recognize the 100 Best Communities for Young People (100 Best). Launched in 2005, the 100 Best competition celebrates communities that have made the well-being of young people a top priority through programs that help them reach their potential, prepare them to graduate high school, and succeed in the 21st century workforce. Last held in 2008, the 100 Best competition has been updated for 2010 to include more specific selection criteria on how communities address their high school dropout rates and will include local celebrations in each of the 100 winning communities.
“The no. 1 predictor of whether a young person succeeds is whether they receive a high school diploma. Our 100 Best communities understand this and are working every day to help children and youth in their communities overcome challenges and reach their potential,” said Marguerite Kondracke, president and CEO, America’s Promise Alliance. “This work isn’t easy, but it’s essential, and that’s why we’re thrilled to partner with the ING Foundation — a longtime supporter of our Alliance — to recognize outstanding large cities and small towns and share their great example with the rest of the nation.”
The 2010 100 Best competition will serve as a key component of the Alliance’s Grad Nation Campaign, which has a goal of helping the nation cut the high school dropout rate in half by 2018. Communities will not only be judged on the success of dropout prevention initiatives, but also on their delivery of the “Five Promises”: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to help others — holistic support resources that research shows increase a young person’s chances of success and will help achieve the Grad Nation goal.
“ING is committed to children’s education, and joining with America’s Promise to recognize communities that share in our goal of empowering young people to achieve a better future is a natural extension of our partnership,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, ING Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. “We are excited to learn about and celebrate modeling programs around the country that are helping to reduce the high school dropout rate.”
To participate in the 2010 competition, applicants must submit a research-based application early in 2010, which will be judged by a distinguished panel of civic, business and nonprofit leaders, as well as young people who are part of the Alliance’s Impact Network. Previous selection panel judges have included such well-known figures as the former mayors of Indianapolis and Denver, the First Lady of West Virginia, leadership from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and United Way, and the late Tim Russert. The 2010 application drive will be announced in February 2010.
The previous 100 Best competition was the most competitive in the initiative’s history, with nearly 750 applicants from more than 300 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To learn more about 100 Best or read about prior winners, visit: www.americaspromise.org/100best.
Audria Belton Benn, ING, 770-980-5715 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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About the ING Foundation
The ING Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live. Through charitable giving and employee volunteerism, the foundation focuses on programs in the areas of financial literacy, children’s education, diversity, and environmental sustainability.
For more information, visit www.ing-usafoundation.com.
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