- Community name: Marina
- Community or city website
- Population: 19,718
- Graduation rate: 87.0%
- Youth poverty rate: 17.7%
OverviewA first-time 100 Best Community for Young People winner, Marina has demonstrated its commitment to young people through its mentoring programs, after-school initiatives, sports activities, healthy eating and community service opportunities. The Breakfast Club, a program that has helped dropped truancy rates to 10 percent, serves free breakfast to about 125 kids each day who need a place to go before school starts. Marina also helps sponsor youth sports teams with the Community At Play Partnership, which raised $50,000 in direct contributions last year. Additionally, Marina offers the Friday Night Live program, which connects students with mentors that offer guidance and encouragement.
- The Breakfast Club serves free breakfast to about 125 young people every day and has helped drop the truancy rate to just 10 percent.
- The Community At Play Partnership program generated more than $50,000 from community business partners to support sports teams and local activities.
- The Friday Night Live program connects mentors with students for guidance and encouragement.
- The Builders Club serves the community through a variety of service projects, including collecting pet food, blankets and pet beds to donate to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
I was a shy girl with no friends who was terrified to go to middle school. I joined the Youth Center for their trips, fun and activities, and now I feel like the people I’ve met are my family.
The Marina Recreation Department provides sports for every season and gives every kid the chance to have fun and learn the values of sportsmanship. I’ve played on one of the girls’ basketball teams and currently run track, and learned that hard work pays off.