Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Community name: Oklahoma City
- Community or city website
- Population: 569,999 people
- Graduation rate: 71.8 percent
- Youth poverty rate: 25.3 percent
This is Oklahoma City’s fifth time on the 100 Best Communities for Young People list. Oklahoma City’s variety of programs to help build the character, well-being and academic achievement of its young people continue to make it an example for other communities. Among its many initiatives is the Metropolitan Area Projects for Kids program, which aims to have more than 70 new and renovated schools by the end of 2012. The Leadership Oklahoma City’s Youth in Action program and Supporting Kids in Independent Living (SKIL) initiative works to help young adults living on their own graduate high school. All 37 SKIL students graduated high school in 2011, and 20 of them will be attending college in the fall.
- The Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) for Kids project aims to have more than 70 new and renovated schools by the end of 2012, including technology projects and bus fleet replacement.
- The Supporting Kids in Independent Living (SKIL) program helps teens who are living on their own graduate from high school through financial assistance, housing assistance, driver’s education, and more.
- The United States Olympic Committee partnered with the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation and the Oklahoma River Olympic and Paralympics Training Site to provide an opportunity to a youth program in Oklahoma.
- The United Way of Central Oklahoma collaborated with the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and Oklahoma City Public Schools to initiate tutoring at Kaiser Elementary school.
- The Oklahoma City Police Athletic League (PAL) aims to prevent juvenile crime by providing educational and sporting programs to children, especially those in high-risk neighborhoods.
- The Leadership Oklahoma City’s Youth in Action Class XI volunteered to help other teens in need by raising $15,000 to donate to Youth Services of Oklahoma County, which helps youth who are on their own graduate from high school.
Youth Council has proven to be one of the best experiences I had in my high school years. I know about my City, how to be involved, and understand that I have a voice which will be heard by elected leaders of the City.