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Contact(s):Scott W. Carter

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


(July 29, 2008 -- Little Rock)— For the third year in a row, Little Rock has been named as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People. Though the honor recognized the City of Little Rock, the City’s application included partnerships with over 20 local organizations which serve Little Rock’s youth.

In recognition of these partnerships, and in appreciation for their dedicated service to youth, the City of Little Rock hosted a ceremony at Little Rock City Hall to formally express its appreciation.

“I am pleased that, for the third straight year, the America’s Promise Alliance has recognized Little Rock’s efforts in regards to young people,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “From the City’s PIT funding and Parks & Recreation programming to the outreach efforts of the School District to the many after-school and summer programs, Little Rock is committed to changing the lives of young people and providing them positive opportunities.”

City Director Ken Richardson commented, “The focus we place on young people is what sets us apart as a City and is one of the key reasons people will want to come here. We cannot do it alone; there are dozens of partners who join with us to focus on Little Rock’s young people. I know the Little Rock City Directors and City Manager Bruce T. Moore join me in expressing appreciation to these partners. I know they also join me in celebrating this achievement.” 

Little Rock was named one of the 100 Best communities in part because of the city’s efforts to help its youth overcome challenges and succeed. One example is the Youth Employment and Internship Program where 400 city youth ages 16-21 are hired as city employees and receive career exploration opportunities and job skills training. The program is administered by ten young people hired as Mentors.

The Future Smiles Dental Clinic is a successful program working to ensure that low-income children receive proper dental care. Coordinated by Children International at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in partnership with 13 organizations the dental clinic provides annual dental screenings, sealants, and oral health education to 2,400 elementary students.

America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance), the nation’s largest alliance dedicated to children and youth, in partnership with Capital One, today announced that Little Rock has once again been named a winner of its 2008 100 Best Communities for Young People (100 Best) competition. The 100 Best competition recognizes the 100 outstanding communities across America—large and small, rural and urban—that are the best places for young people to live and grow up. More than 300 communities in all 50 states applied for the honor this year. The 100 winning communities span 37 states.

The 100 Best competition was first held in 2005. This year’s winners were selected by a distinguished panel that included some of the nation’s most well-known civic, business and nonprofit leaders such as: Gayle Manchin, first lady of West Virginia; United Way President Brian Gallagher; former Mayor of Denver and President of Webb Group International, Wellington Webb; Thomas Donohue, president and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Carol Coletta, president and CEO, CEOs for Cities; Christine James-Brown, president and CEO, the Child Welfare League of America; and Dr. Suzanne Morse, executive director of the Pew Partnership for Civic Change.

All communities that completed entries in the 100 Best competition were required to submit detailed information to the Alliance on existing community programs and initiatives that help deliver the Five Promises—resources identified by America’s Promise as being critical to the development of healthy, successful children: caring adults; safe places; healthy start; effective education; and opportunities to help others; to their young people. 
Applicants were also asked to describe how different sectors of their community come together to deliver the Five Promises and specific efforts and programs developed to ensure that their young people graduate from high school prepared for college and/or the workforce. Each of these communities, regardless of whether they were selected as a winner, will be eligible to apply for $300,000 in grants from the Alliance next month.

For more details about the 100 Best competition and to see a complete list of the 2008 winners, please visit


About the America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s leader in forging a strong and effective partnership alliance comprised of corporations, nonprofit organizations, foundations, policymakers, advocacy and faith groups committed to ensuring that children receive the fundamental resources - the Five Promises – they need to lead successful, healthy and productive lives and build a stronger society. Building on the legacy of our founder General Colin Powell, the Alliance believes the success of our children is grounded in experiencing the Five Promises - caring adults; safe place; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others - at home, in school and in the community. For more information on America’s Promise Alliance visit:

The partners honored at today’s ceremony were:

Black Community Developers
City Year Little Rock
Faith Care, Inc./Inner City Future Net
Girls Scouts of Ouachita Council
Greater Second Care Center/Go Girl program
Hunter United Methodist Church (UMC) TIPS
In His Image Youth Development Center
Little Rock Boys and Girls Clubs (Mitchell, Penick, Whetstone, Thrasher)
Little Rock School District (LRSD) VIPs program/ Project 67 Mentoring
New Futures for Youth
Our House Inc.
Joseph Pfeifer Camp/ Kiwanis Camp
Metropolitan Career Technical Center
Promiseland Ministries
Pulaski County Youth Services/Watershed Our Club
Step-Up Support Center
UALR Children International
UAMS Adolescent Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Programs for Young Adults
Unto Others (St. John Church)
The Women’s Council of African-American Affairs/ Brothers United

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