For a sixth time, a national children's advocacy group has included Bellevue on its list of 100 best communities for young people, an honor that comes with a $2,500 grant. Bellevue is one of just 19 communities to receive this honor every year since the list was created in 2005.
America's Promise Alliance, which includes corporations, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and advocacy groups, cited Bellevue for creating opportunities for youth through programs such as Wrap-Around Services and collaborations with partners, including Bellevue Public Schools, Youth Link, Youth Eastside Services, Bellevue Family YMCA, Eastside Pathways and the Jubilee Reach Center.
Last year the grant was used for a youth conference. This year, the grant will support the city's Community Leadership awards.
Bellevue was chosen from more than 320 applicants for a place on the list, which recognizes communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing service and support to their youth.
"Being named one of America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best is significant and meaningful to the entire community," said Mayor Conrad Lee. "So many dedicated people and programs contributed to this honor, and we should all be incredibly proud of our community's investment in young people and our future."
"In a nation where 7,000 students drop out of high school every day, we hope Bellevue'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.
This year's competition experienced its greatest interest to date, with applications from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of judges that included 2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki and 2012 National Superintendent of the Year Heath Morrison.
America's Promise announced the top 100 list this morning. Presented by ING, the list is available, as well as a webcast of the announcement, at America's Promise.
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