- Community name: Anchorage
- Community or city website
- Population: 283,000
- Graduation rate: 68.3%
- Youth poverty rate: 13.0%
Anchorage, a five-time 100 Best winner, continues to lead by example through its many programs and initiatives that allow youth to have a voice in community decisions. Students are always encouraged to write or meet with local government officials, and the Student Advisory Board provides an avenue for middle and high school students to provide input regarding education initiatives. Outside of the classroom, students are serving their community through the collaboration of Anchorage’s Promise and America’s Global Youth Service Program. Anchorage also devotes resources to its most vulnerable youth through the Food Bank of Alaska and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provided more than 75,000 meals to children across the state this past summer.
- The Anchorage United for Youth (AUY) is a collaboration of over 50 organizations that work together to help youth succeed with programs and policies that help improve high school graduation rates, reduce substance abuse and decrease juvenile crime.
- Anchorage Promise KidsDay is an event that encourages young people to speak with their legislative representatives so they can share their opinion on decisions affecting youth in Anchorage.
- The Student Advisory Board (SAB) includes youth representatives from each of the surrounding high schools and middle schools and allows these students to give input on community issues and decisions.
- Youth Service America’s Global Youth Service Program , in collaboration with Anchorage’s Promise, helps increase volunteers opportunities for youth.
- The Food Bank of Alaska and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provide free meals to youth 18 years and younger.
I feel Anchorage treats every teen equally because of the opportunities they give to the less fortunate teens, for example; the Covenant house, which provides shelter; and Kids Kitchen, which provides food for kids and young adults.
All the youth groups and teen advisory groups I have joined have given me the opportunity and support to volunteer and do what I love, which is helping people in need. Attending conferences and youth summits that engage youth and adults in helping better our community have helped me gain the skills and knowledge needed to be able to reach out to other people.