September 11, 2012 — For the fifth year in a row, the Greater Midland area has achieved national recognition as one of the America’s Promise Alliance 100 Best Communities for Young People. The national award, sponsored by ING U.S. and the ING Foundation, was given to Greater Midland for its outstanding and innovative work in addressing the high school dropout crisis and for its programs and services that make it an outstanding place for youth to live, learn, and grow.

Greater Midland is being honored as a 100 Best winner for its ongoing commitment to youth health and safety. The community’s Youth Master Plan, facilitated by The Legacy Center for Community Success, addresses ways for organizations and businesses to proactively serve youth.  The Health and Human Services Council – a collaboration of nonprofit organizations, foundations, and health and human service organizations – works to ensure the welfare of Greater Midland residents by addressing community poverty, housing, family, and health needs.

To encourage healthy self-esteem among young girls, Shelterhouse, a domestic and sexual violence agency, sponsors Girls on the Run.  The program provides girls in grades three through five with health education, life skills development, and mentoring as they train for a 5K run.

Community service and volunteerism are also encouraged among teens who learn to give back to the community through organizations such as the Midland County Youth Action Council.

“Being named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best is significant and meaningful to the entire community,” said Midland Mayor Maureen Donker.  “So many dedicated people and programs contributed to this win, and it further reinforces our belief that a strong youth focus impacts our community for the better.”

“As young people across the country go back to school, it is especially timely to recognize communities like Greater Midland that have come together to help young Americans reach their full potential,” said John Gomperts, America’s Promise Alliance president and CEO. “The 100 Best winners are doing outstanding work creating conditions for all young people to have the best chance for success.  We hope the example set by these communities provides inspiration for others to take