TROUP COUNTY, GA - The efforts of Troup County civic and community leaders were honored Tuesday when America's Promise Alliance (the Alliance), the nation's largest partnership organization dedicated to youth and children, announced the county had been named a winner of the Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People (100 Best) competition.
Renae Willis, chair of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce's Excellence in Education initiative, and Patty Youngblood, president of United Way of West Georgia, attended the nationwide announcement in Washington, D.C. just a few hours after local officials including Troup County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ed Smith and Third District U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland made the announcement here at home at the Chamber's Early Bird Breakfast.
The 100 Best designation recognizes those communities that make youth a priority by implementing programs that help keep children in school and prepare them for college and the 21st century workforce.
Troup County stood out among applicants nationwide for its success in collaborating efforts to address the educational, physical, social, and emotional needs of children.
Specifically, Troup County has succeeded in raising the graduation rate, lowering the incidents of abuse, and preparing children not only for entering school but also for opportunities upon graduation.
"The progress being made in Troup County is certainly validated by this tremendous honor," said Willis who coordinated the application process along with Catherine Kostilnik of the Center for Community Studies. "The efforts being made by organizations throughout the county for young people are showing real results in terms of educational success, social growth, improved safety and health, and growing opportunities. I am proud of the collaborative spirit that exists in our county among so many organizations and people who see areas of need and roll up their sleeves to be part of the solution."
The competition is open to all communities that make children and youth a priority. In addition to enhancing local educational opportunities, most winning communities have taken steps to facilitate improved access to health care for its young people, encourage youth civic engagement and supply developmental resources that create better places for young people to live and grow.
The entire 2010 list of 100 Best Communities for Young People and their accomplishments can be found at www.americaspromise.org/100Best.
"Through its innovative and far-reaching programs, Troup County is taking bold and effective steps to help their young people graduate and lead healthy, productive lives," said Marguerite W. Kondracke, America's Promise Alliance president and CEO. "Troup County serves as an example to inspire and educate other communities across the nation to tackle the challenges facing their city and children, and to implement initiatives that give them the essential resources they need to succeed in life."
This year, more than 350 communities in 50 states registered online for the 100 Best distinction.
For more information about America's Promise Alliance, visit www.americaspromise.org.