Prince William County, Virginia

 

  • Community name: Prince William County
  • Community or city website
  • Population: 407,703
  • Graduation rate: 88.0%
  • Youth poverty rate: 7.1% 

Overview

Prince William County, a two-time 100 Best winner, remains a top place for youth because of programs that assist in developing the skills, knowledge and positive attitude its young residents will need to succeed in the 21st century workforce.  More than 56 percent of the local budget is allocated for schools, and an additional 10 percent is used to support youth programs. Programs such as Beat the Odds, and Learn and Serve encourage students to take on leadership positions, which allow them to interact with adult mentors. Since its inception, Beat the Odds has provided more than $100,000 for youth-focused programs. The county’s Parents as Educational Partners is a 36-hour parent outreach program designed to educate and empower parents on how to become their children’s biggest advocates. The program has improved English language skills and education among its participants. Today, Prince William County graduates 88 percent of its students, well above the national average.

Community Programs

  • The Beat the Odds program partners with nonprofits, local organizations and the legal community to provide over $100,000 to support youth who face adversity.
  • The Northern Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition is a grassroots, multijurisdictional coalition that aims to promote healthy living and address issues related to childhood obesity.
  • GEAR UP academically, professionally and financially prepares low income middle school youth for post-secondary education.
  • Parents as Educational Partners is designed to empower ESOL parents to become decision makers and advocates for their children.
  • The Prince William Volunteer Action Center connects youth from all backgrounds to the diverse nonprofit community through a unique referral system.
  • Learn and Serve gives youth the opportunity to serve the community while reaching their academic goals.
  • The Gang Response and Intervention Team was implemented and since, gang activity has declined.

Youth Voices

My youth minister dedicates much of his time for my youth group. Officer Carr and the other advisers in the PWCPD Explorer program volunteer abundant time and effort to teach me the professionalism of the PWC Police Department.

—Richard

Prince William is so diverse from the different languages spoken to the different types of cultures. This makes us feel comfortable in our environment. Our youth are exposed to many programs and activities that help the young people grow and develop assets.

—Katherine