- Community name: Nashville
- Community or city website
- Population: 592,497
- Graduation rate: 82.9%
- Youth poverty rate: 25.6%
OverviewNashville, a 100 Best Community for Young People for a third time, is an outstanding community because of its initiatives to increase student engagement, encourage parent-child interaction, and focus on youth leadership development. Nashville’s Child & Youth Master Plan helps to guide funding and development of youth-oriented projects. The Hands On Nashville’s Youth Advisory Board is transforming into an intern program with participants leading a monthly volunteer project and developing the curriculum. Meanwhile, the Triple Impact’s Youth Empowerment Project connects mentors with ninth grade students to foster improved academic performance, encourage healthy behavior and help improve self esteem.
- The Project for Student Success finds innovative ways to increase student engagement and reduce the high school dropout rate.
- The Mayor’s Youth Council, comprised of high school juniors and seniors, advises local leaders, advocates for youth-centered policies and communications with their peers.
- Alignment Nashville brings together organizations and resources to support student achievement and good health through focused committee tactics and initiatives.
- Parent University works to increase consistent parenting, positive communication and emotional family support for local youth through community workshops.
- The Developing Community Leaders program delivers humanities instruction combined with service learning for students who are non-traditional leaders or leading negatively in schools.
Becoming involved with youth organizations like the teen board at the Campus of Human Development, I was able to learn about homelessness and take a leadership role. I’ve become empowered to take action and become a leader in my community through this program and others, including Youth Advisory Council for Building Bridges.
Nashville is a community that encourages young people to rally around their beliefs to make change. My experiences have motivated me to embody the social change that I want to happen in Nashville and around the world.