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PWC wins accolades for 3rd time as one of 100 best communities for young people

Prince William County has been recognized for the third year as one of the Nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, according to a news release from the county government. The recognition came from America’s Promise Alliance and ING. At a national press conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Sept. 12,  the county was honored for its commitment to addressing the challenges facing its youth through education and safety initiatives.

America’s Promise Alliance is described in the county news release as “the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth through efforts aimed at keeping youth in school.” The ING Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live, the release said.

Among Prince William County’s innovative programs mentioned were:

• Students Learning Essential Assets of Development (L.E.A.D.) gives youth leaders from each high school the opportunity to be trained in ways to implement community service projects including participating in town hall meetings on such issues as reducing underage drinking, collecting food for the needy and coordinating Bingo Night at area nursing homes.

• SySTEMIC Solutions, a partnership among the Prince William County School system, Northern Virginia Community College and local businesses.  The program provides financial support, mentoring and networking opportunities to students and encourages student interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

• Gang Response Intervention Team (GRIT) supports safety initiatives to combat gangs and youth violence.  The program educates community members and makes referrals to existing community resources, such as the school bulling prevention program.

• The Department of Parks & Recreation is the area’s largest youth employer and provides a vast variety of after-school and weekend and summer activities that improves children’s teamwork and leadership skills, such as the nationally recognized First Tee Program.

Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. was quoted in the news release as saying. “I am extremely pleased that we have again received national recognition as Prince William County continues to be a county that leads by example.”

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