- Community name: Alexandria
- Website: http://alexandriava.gov/
- Population: 140,912
- Graduation rate:73.5%
- Youth poverty rate: 13.3%
Alexandria, a five-time 100 Best winner, enhances the quality of life for its youth through various academic and after-school programs. The Alexandria City Public Schools is in the second year of a five-year Strategic Plan to close the achievement gap through pre-school and special education programs, individual achievement plans, more course offerings and a new curriculum. The strategic plan recently won a Magna Award, a national program sponsored in part by the National School Boards Association, which recognizes best practices and innovative programs that advance student learning.
Outside of school, youth benefit from the Fund for Alexandria’s Child, which promotes community awareness and support for foster children and youth at risk of abuse and neglect. Programming includes dance, art or karate lessons, summer camps, field trips, scouting and team sports. At-risk pre-teen girls in Alexandria can join the Space of Her Own mentorship program to take classes on healthy habits, communications and art. At the end of the program, each girl refurbishes her bedroom with her own art projects.
- The Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria sponsored a Community Youth Mapping project in which local teens surveyed more than 640 businesses, schools and community organizations on perceptions of youth issues and used the data to provide recommendations for improvement.
- Alexandria International Academy supports the large population of English language learners through a multicultural education program that explores new ideas and preserves students’ own heritages.
- Space of Her Own is a mentorship program that provides classes for young girls on healthy habits, communication and art. At the end of the program, each girl decorates her bedroom with her own art projects.
- The Fund for Alexandria’s Child promotes community awareness, involvement and resource development among foster children and children at risk of abuse and neglect through dance, art or karate lessons, summer camping, school field trips, scouting and team sports.
- The Alexandria City Public Schools’ five-year Strategic Plan aims to close the achievement gap through high-quality preschools, an emphasis on special education, individual achievement plans, more course offerings and a new curriculum.
“Alexandria has supported me by providing numerous resources and opportunities that offer experience and mentoring that helped me prepare for the future.”
“In school, our teachers and administrators have supported us well. They made sure we were on top of our grades and made sure we put school first. They also kept close contact with our parents.”
—Deronte and Jahvon