The Alliance for Youth last week named the City of Brentwood one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People. In partnership with Capital One Financial Corporation, the 100 Best competition honors communities - ranging from small towns to urban neighborhoods across America - for their commitment to provide healthy, safe and caring environments for young people. Hundreds of communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands took part in the competition.
"This is an outstanding achievement for Brentwood, exemplifying the city's philosophy described in 'The Brentwood Way' where, 'Good enough is never good enough and we find a way to do it better,'" Mayor Bob Taylor said in a statement about the honor.
The city was honored in part because of the many innovative programs in place for children and youth. Its Youth Commission provides a forum for youth to express their concerns and views, while the Police Activities League's After the Bell free after-school program teaches middle schoolers to make good life decisions, succeed in school and remain active. Additional programs at the middle and high school levels, such as RAVE, Small Learning Communities and cultural clubs expand knowledge, educate and allow youth to voice their opinions in a safe environment.
"Nothing is more important than seeing that our children and youth have the resources and support systems they need to thrive and succeed," said America's Promise founding chairman, Colin Powell. "When a community provides all that its young people need to be healthy and secure, they deserve to be honored and showcased as an outstanding example of what it takes to successfully nurture this nation's young people."
A complete list of winners can be found at www.americaspromise.org. 100 Best Communities for Young People was launched in 2005 by Powell in partnership with Capital One. Other members of America's Promise Alliance - including United Way of America, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Association of Counties and the American Association of School Administrators and many others - took leading roles in encouraging communities to compete in the 100 Best competition.
The 2007 100 Best Communities for Young People competition opened in September of 2006. Brentwood applied for the honor and was chosen by a distinguished selection panel of civic, business and nonprofit leaders, including United Way of America President Brian Gallagher, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and Moderator of Meet the Press Tim Russert, CEOs for Cities' President and CEO Carol Coleta, and former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb.
The selection panel evaluated 100 Best entries that required detailed information about each community's efforts to fulfill the Five Promises - the fundamental resources our children and youth need to succeed: caring adults who are actively involved in their lives; safe places in which to learn and grow; a healthy start toward adulthood; an effective education that builds marketable skills; and opportunities to help others.
"We held this competition to appeal to America's competitive spirit to encourage communities to become great places to grow up," said Marguerite W. Kondracke, President and CEO of America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth. "Our winners' outstanding efforts to deliver the Five Promises are shining examples of what it means to keep America's Promise for our young people."
For more details about the 100 Best competition and the winners, visit www.americaspromise.org.