Burleson, Texas

Burleson, a first time 100 Best winner, has a strong sense of community and character with an unparalleled quality of life. All of the entities in Burleson truly care about their youth and show that through collaboration at every level to ensure all kids have access to the Five Promises. The City of Burleson works to make Burleson a great place to live, learn, work, and play. Burleson is dedicated to the National League of Cities Strengthening Families Initiative and has shown that youth are a top priority by creating and funding the Mayor's Youth Council. By giving youth a voice in city decisions, they are able to help shape the future of their community.

The City of Burleson has expanded opportunities for Burleson youth to lead in local policy and budgeting decisions. The first Mayor's Youth Council took office in January 2008. The youth, ages 13-19, are appointed by the City Council and are charged with advising on matters pertaining to youth. The Mayor's Youth Council began by establishing bylaws and forming board policies. The youth create their agendas and take minutes of each monthly meeting.

Burleson, the Burleson Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Burleson Independent School District collaborate to better the quality of life in Burleson. The Burleson Opportunity Fund, officially launched in April 2008, is a direct collaboration of these three entities and Hill College, Texas Wesleyan University, and many local businesses. The Burleson Opportunity Fund was created not only to remove the financial barrier of attending college by giving out tuition and fees scholarships to Burleson high school graduates, but also by changing the expectations of parents, youth, teachers, and virtually every member of the community. The Burleson Opportunity Fund has provided scholarships to over 117 Burleson graduates since 2008.

To address the challenge of accessible health care, Burleson has attracted new facilities to the community. In 2010 Burleson became home to two renowned medical facilities, Texas Health Resources and Cook Children's Clinic. The children and families of Burleson now have two pediatricians only moments away from home at the Cook Children's Clinic. They are specialists in the health care of infants, children and adolescents and both pediatricians are board certified in pediatrics. A mobile health clinic offers vaccinations for youth.

In order to increase information and process awareness of parents and youth about education, college, and careers, many programs have been instituted. Small and large group sessions are offered at many times throughout the year so that parents and students can get the assistance that they need. There is a program referred to as "Fish Camp," which specifically addresses the transition from middle school to high school. Older students at the high school give out words of wisdom and information for incoming freshmen so they are aware of activities, clubs, and organizations.