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Louisville Named one of "100 Best Cities for Young People"

Thursday January 24, 2008

Mayor Jerry Abramson announced today that, for the third year, Louisville has been named one of the “100 Best Communities for Young People” by America’s Promise – Youth Alliance. The awards will be presented tonight at a national celebration in Washington, D.C.

America’s Promise is an organization launched by former Secretary of State Colin Powell to increase the health and success of young people from birth to age 21.

“It is quite an honor to be nationally recognized for our commitment to young people for a third time,” said Abramson. “We have great partnerships in Louisville that are creating innovative programs, such as Every 1 Reads, that are making a real difference for our youth.”

Louisville was also named a 100 Best community in 2007 and 2005, and was one of only 47 urban areas selected for the 2008 award. Louisville and the other winners of the distinguished award were chosen by a panel of judges including: Gayle Manchin, first lady of West Virginia, United Way President Brian Gallagher, and former Denver mayor and President of Webb Group International, Wellington Webb.

Louisville was selected, in part, for its partnerships with the Jefferson County Public Schools and local businesses. Those programs include: Every 1 Reads, an initiative that has mobilized more than 8,000 volunteers to have all children reading at or above grade level; the LEEP program, which provides mentors to at-risk students; the $25 million GE College Bound grant for math and science; Kid Trax, a computer software system that gives after-school programs access to a database of students’ school records; and the youth job center - Y.O.U., Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

Louisville’s application included programs provided by Big Brothers and Big Sisters, YMCA, the Lincoln Foundation and Metro United Way’s Success By 6 campaign, which focuses on early childhood development.

Also cited were programs provided and supported by Louisville Metro’s Office for Youth Development including Studio2000, which connects high school students to jobs in the arts, and the Youth Opportunity Showcase, which helps young people find jobs and volunteer opportunities.

Judges scored cities and applications on criteria regarding the community’s commitment to fulfill five essential promises critical to the well-being of young people: 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.

For more information about this award and a list of complete winners, visit www.americaspromise.org.