- Community name: Lexington
- Community or city website
- Population: 296,406
- Graduation rate: 83.6%
- Youth poverty rate: 19.0%
For the fifth time, Lexington has been named an America’s Promise Alliance 100 Best Community for Young People. Through long-standing initiatives like Partners for Youth and the Mayor’s Youth Council, Lexington empowers its youth with opportunities to serve their communities and achieve success. Ranked seventh nationally in percentage of residents over 25 with an advanced degree, the Lexington community has programs in place to demonstrate their commitment to higher education. To encourage first-generation college students, the Opportunity Middle College program allows high school juniors and seniors to attend the local community college and take course that give them the opportunity to graduate from high school with more than a year’s worth of college credit. To ensure that each student in the Fayette County Public Schools system receives high-quality education, the 2020 Vision project was established by local community members. The project comprises 21 work groups, with each focusing on a different area of education.
- Partners for Youth is a local partnership that is supported by the Mayor’s Office and has helped many disadvantaged youth through the Mayor’s Youth Council and multiple Neighborhood Youth Councils (NYC) as well as community empowerment centers. With the supportive and empowering approach taken by Lexington officials, many organizations are starting to recruit youth on the board to provide youth perspective in programming, policy-making and services.
- In order to recruit and involve youth in improving the quality of their neighborhoods, Neighborhood Youth Council members were trained in Project Citizen to learn the political process. Council members work in conjunction with their district council members and government officials in neighborhood improvement projects.
- As Lexington’s only runaway and homeless shelter for youth, MASH Drop Inn center, offers over 100 Safe Places sites throughout the city where kids can access help within 5 minutes walking distance.
- Opportunity Middle College is a program for potential first generation college students who are currently juniors and seniors in high school. They attend Bluegrass Community and Technical College, where they take high school and college courses, and graduate from high school with more than a year’s worth of college credit.
When I got here, I did not have any high school credits but after almost a year at The Lexington Day Treatment Center, I now have enough credits to be a sophomore and am working on being a junior by the end of the summer.
To my surprise being at the educational Safe house it helped me a lot. It's not all about work; they take us to the movies, bowling, and other fun activities. It's the opportunity of a lifetime that some kids should do to get ahead.