Economic Development Newsroom

Mayor: Louisville one of “100 Best Communities for Young People”

Monday September 26, 2005

Mayor Jerry Abramson announced today that Louisville has been named one of the “100 Best Communities for Young People” by America’s Promise – Youth Alliance.

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 21 years of age.
Louisville was selected, in part, for its partnerships with the Jefferson Public School System. Those programs include: Every 1 Reads, an initiative to have all children reading at or above grade level by 2008; the LEEP program, which provides mentors to at-risk students; and the new youth job center, Y.O.U., Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

The city also coordinates a community-wide wellness initiative, The Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement, and the Healthy Start program, which concentrates on reducing minority infant mortality rates.
“We know Louisville is a great place for young people and families,” said Abramson. “It’s nice to know other people are noticing the groundbreaking efforts taking place in our hometown.”

Louisville’s application included programs provided by Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Metro United Way’s Success by 6 campaign, which focuses on early childhood development issues.
“This award is a testament to the fact that our community truly cares about having all of our children succeed,” said Joe Tolan, president of Metro United Way.

The city received high marks for being the national headquarters of YMCA’s Safe Place and the home of a unique facility offered by Junior Achievement. “Louisville is one of five cities in the world to have both a Junior Achievement Exchange City and Finance Park,” said Debra Hoffer, president of Junior Achievement. “Our community should be proud of this and of all our wonderful educational resources.”

Louisville and the other winners of this distinguished award were chosen by a panel of judges including: baseball great Cal Ripken, Jr., the national president of United Way, and former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.
The applicants were judged 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.
Louisville will receive its award at a national celebration on November 2 in Washington, D.C.

For more information about this award and a list of complete winners, visit