|October 17, 2011
Redmond achieved national recognition as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING for its initiatives to help young people. The competition recognizes communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing service and support to their youth.
The community was recognized for the numerous academic, service-learning and after-school programs it offers to its youth residents. For its growing Latino population, the Latino Enrichment Project has helped Spanish-speaking students succeed in middle and high school. The schools’ bilingual staff provides academic support and promotes cultural awareness to respond to the needs of young people. A LGBT support program is now offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth in Redmond. This work has made Redmond a leader in the region, offering services other communities are not.
Redmond is working hard to develop young leaders with the Redmond Youth Partnership Advisory Committee which is led by local young people and offers meaningful service opportunities for area youth. The community also uses sports to provide at-risk youth with a safe place during non-school hours. In fact, the Chill program provides teens with a chance to learn how to snowboard and learn community building skills.
In addition to focusing on diversity, Redmond has come together to host a youth summit and develop its Teen Center to better meet the needs of its young people and their families. In the past few years, Redmond has made academic success a top priority, and has also strategically implemented after-school programs to ensure children are supervised and safe after school. Through those efforts, Redmond now graduates nearly 93 percent of its students.
“We are proud of Redmond for being named one of the America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best,” said Ken Wong, Teen Programs Administrator. “This award recognizes the hard work of many community members that have dedicated their time to making a difference in the lives of our young people. This is the second time that Redmond has been recognized. We were honored in 2007.”
“In a nation where 7,000 students drop out of high school every day, we hope Redmond’s initiatives inspire other communities across the nation to take action to solve the challenges facing their young people,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “Redmond is especially deserving of this recognition due to their efforts to ensure that their young people graduate high school and go on to lead healthy, productive lives.”
Redmond 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.
First held in 2005, the 100 Best competition is one of the Alliance’s signature initiatives and is part of its Grad Nation campaign, which is a 10-year initiative to mobilize Americans to end the high school dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce. The 100 Best honors communities large and small, rural and urban, that are making progress to help young people achieve their potential, which includes earning a high school diploma, securing a good job, and playing an active, productive role in America’s economic vitality.
This year, more than 300 communities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were nominated for the 100 Best distinction. Winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of 20 judges that included: Marc Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League, Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and Michelle Shearer, Chemistry Teacher, Urbana High School, 2011 National Teacher of the Year.
The winners are a diverse group, ranging from small communities to large cities. A list of all 2011 winners can be found at www.americaspromise.org/100best