- Community name: Caldwell
- Community or city website
- Population: 46,237
- Graduation rate: 91.7%
- Youth poverty rate: 26.6%
Caldwell, a 100 Best winner for a second time, boasts a high graduation rate and a low crime rate thanks to its numerous initiatives to keep youth safe and in school. The Caldwell Youth Coalition, a partnership between the City of Caldwell and the Caldwell School District, addresses the most pressing issues facing youth such as safety, after-school supervision, health, education, workforce readiness and community involvement. Another program, Advocates Against Family Violence (also known as Hope’s Door), teaches families who come from violent situations how to make positive life choices through advocacy, support, education, awareness, affordable housing and community involvement. Caldwell also ensures its youth have a voice in community decisions as well as opportunities to volunteer with the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council. In addition to these after-school programs, in 2010, Caldwell began the Caldwell Freshman Academy. This freshman-only school was started to improve graduation rates by helping some freshman make a more successful transition to high school through small class sizes and team-building exercises.
- The Caldwell Youth Coalition is a partnership between the City of Caldwell and the Caldwell School District that is composed of community volunteers and program administrators that carry out the Caldwell Youth Master Plan. This plan addresses issues facing youth, with an emphasis on safety during after-school hours, health education, workforce readiness and community involvement.
- Advocates Against Family Violence , also known as Hope’s Door, works to eliminate violence in families and homes by empowering men, women, and children to make positive life choices through advocacy, support, education, awareness, affordable housing and community involvement.
- The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council is an after-school organization for high school students that gives them an opportunity to voice their opinion as well as volunteer for various community service projects.
- The Caldwell Freshman Academy helps prepare students who are having difficulty with the transition to high school and are on the verge of dropping out or not graduating on time.
- The Caldwell Police Department hosts an annual Crime Fair Prevention Day during which families learn basic safety tips, such as how to properly install a car seat or how to reduce the risk of house fires.
In the past, Caldwell was known for gang violence, drive-by shootings and meth distribution. Today, Caldwell is a safe place to live and the fear of gang violence has diminished due to the efforts of the local sheriff’s office and the Caldwell Police Department.
I’m an exchange student from Russia. Teachers and students are really nice to me and each other. They helped me to get accustomed in my new country. I was surprised that children were so friendly. I learned so much information this year—it’s the best experience in my life. Also, I’m a volunteer at the YMCA. It’s a wonderful place where you can find different healthy activities.