Macon/Bibb County, Georgia
A previous winner of 100 Best, Macon and Bibb County have developed several partnerships that are dedicated to the spirit of the Five Promises. Several critical demographics are improving, the teen pregnancy rate has fallen in the last two years, many health indicators have improved and they have increased their school funding.
In 1999, Volunteer Macon started the community’s Youth Programs Department, which places youth on the boards of non-profit agencies and organizations. In the last year, Macon and Bibb County have referred 36 youth to develop community service projects and guidelines and policies for these projects.
The Community Partnership is a group of over 40 members who research leading indicators for youth success and encourage others to focus on critical youth needs. In the last three years, they focused on a high poverty/high crime area known as Lynmore Estates, providing support for the elementary school with mentors, tutors and parenting classes. A neighborhood computer lab has been established in neighborhood church, adult literacy classes and workforce development classes. The Mentor’s Project is an organization focused on high school youth at risk for failure. Through the support of the mentors and additional community resources, the Mentor’s Project youth have over a 76 percent graduation rate, greatly exceeding the Bibb County School rate.
The community has been the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Communities in Charge Initiative that set up alternative health care options and clinics across central Georgia. The local mental health provider recently opened a 28 bed facility in Bibb County that offers age appropriate treatment and family support. Bibb County was ranked by the Georgia Department of CommunityHealth as the best in the state for clinical care with a large number of doctors and relatively few uninsured adults. Central Georgia Technical College and the Macon Volunteer Clinic have teamed to provide dental care for youth without coverage. They also provide a clinic van that visits schools and provides dental care for children without coverage.
Through the Youth Volunteer Corps of Middle GA, Macon and Bibb County have registered and engaged over 3,600 youth in the last two years in a series of days of service and large weekend projects. After a successful Summer of Service program last year, the community will host an additional 70 middle school youth and help manage them as they complete 100 hours for service this summer and will be eligible for a $500 post secondary scholarship from the Corporation for National Service.