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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bellevue again named a top community for youth

BELLEVUE -- For the fourth consecutive time, a national children's advocacy group has recognized Bellevue as one of the 100 best communities for young people.

The America's Promise Alliance announced the 2010 awards earlier this morning in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. led by Alliance Chair, Alma Powell and President and CEO Marguerite Kondracke. Bellevue was recognized for quality of schools and for the attention children from all backgrounds receive from collaborations that include the City of Bellevue, Bellevue School District, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue and the Bellevue YMCA.

"Bellevue is tremendously honored to be consistently recognized as one of America's Top 100 Communities for Young People. This honor reflects the fact that Bellevue is a city where adults and young people have truly worked together, investing time and dedicating resources over many years to support the needs of our youth and teens," said Bellevue Mayor Don Davidson.   

The 100 Best awards presented by ING financial services company, showcase cities and communities across the country that tackle challenges and demonstrate innovative efforts to deliver the Five Promises that young people need to succeed: caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others. The competition is one element of the Alliance's Grad Nation campaign, a 10-year initiative to end the high school drop-out crisis and prepare young people for the 21st century workforce. 

Bellevue high schools are among the top 100 public high schools recognized by Newsweek magazine and the city is also home to several innovative programs to support youth including: Bellevue Youth Link, a youth leadership and youth involvement program honored in 1992 with a National League of Cities Innovation Award; and Wrap-Around Services, a collaborative effort at Lake Hills Elementary and Odle Middle School where community partners including the City of Bellevue, Bellevue School District, YMCA, United Way and many others work together to provide a network of resources and support the local school and neighborhood community.

"Through its innovative and far-reaching programs, Bellevue is taking bold and effective steps to help their young people graduate and lead healthy, productive lives," said Kondracke, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. "Bellevue serves as an example to inspire and educate other communities across the nation to tackle the challenges facing their city and children and to implement initiatives that give them the essential resources they need to succeed in life."

Approximately 750 communities from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, enter the biennial competition. The 2010 100 Best winners include communities and cities from 37 states, representing localities large and small, urban and rural. A complete list of winners and additional information about the 2010 100 Best communities is available at the America's promise website.

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Parks & Community Services
450 110th Ave NE
PO Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Helena Stephens
Phone: 425-452-2834
E-mail: hstephens@bellevuewa.gov

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