Beaufort County named ‘100 Best’ for young people

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On Wednesday, Oct. 12, civic, education and business leaders gathered at the Bluffton High School auditorium to watch a live simulcast of the announcement from Washington, D.C. that announced Beaufort County as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People for its initiatives to help young people. It was Beaufort County’s first win in the national 100 Best, competing against more than 300 communities nominated for this year’s awards.
“The fact that we competed as a county demonstrates a strong commitment by a community that’s unified in its determination to make a difference in the lives of children,” said School District Superintendent Valerie Truesdale.
“This recognition is a tribute to the hard work of our schools, our social service agencies, our local governments, our diverse array of youth organizations, our volunteer student mentors and many other groups, all working toward a common goal.”
To compete for this honorable title, communities filled out a rigorous application detailing how their existing programs and initiatives help deliver the “Five Promises” as dictating by America’s Promise Alliance: caring adults, safe places, healthy start, effective education and opportunities to help others. The school district submitted Beaufort County’s application on behalf of “Together for Beaufort County,” a group of human service alliance professionals formed in 2006 to better coordinate services for children and families.
America’s Promise noted that Beaufort County supports its youth with a variety of after-school programs and health initiatives, such as the YMCA of Beaufort County, the Boys & Girls Club of the Lowcountry and the Beaufort County School District, which provide supervised environments with tutors before and after school. Beaufort County Parks and Leisure Services make health and wellness a priority by providing free recreational programs for young people after school and during the summer.
Beaufort also provides leadership development opportunities for youth through its annual Beaufort County Youth Leadership Conference, led by the Technical College of the Lowcountry and held in partnership with several agencies and community organizations. To ensure students grow up healthy, Beaufort has coordinated a health model made up of 16 local organizations that aims to reduce childhood obesity, increase access to health services, advance health education programs and provide more opportunities for youth to participate in physical activity.
Beaufort County will not only be officially recognized as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, but it will also receive a $2,500 grant and access to America’s Promise Alliance’s community development resources.