- Community name: Norwalk
- Community or city website
- Population: 83,219
- Graduation rate: 97.2%
- Youth poverty rate: 6.8%
OverviewNorwalk, a two-time 100 Best winner, is a diverse community that continues to make youth a priority through services supporting vulnerable children, leadership initiatives and community partnerships to help reduce the high school dropout rate. Briggs High School, an alternative learning center for disadvantaged youth, educates and nurtures about 100 students who have been unable to succeed in a traditional school setting. The Center for Youth Leadership promotes youth activism and raises funds to affect community change and influence policies. The mayor’s summer jobs program helps youth aged 14–18 find work and gain valuable job skills.
- The Youth Services Bureau works with local community groups, city departments, businesses and the Norwalk Public Schools Board of Education to establish programs and services for youth.
- The Triangle Community Center provides support services for LGBT youth to help strengthen their sense of identity and pride.
- Norwalk ACTS is a group of 50 community leaders, including business, government, human services, and clergy representatives, that is working to reduce the dropout rate.
Norwalk Healthy Families Collaborative works with local youth and family agencies to advocate for increased support for counseling and mental health interventions for youth.
- The Center for Youth Leadership, the largest youth activism organization in Fairfield County and one of the largest in Connecticut, empowers its 220 members to effect community change and engage in public awareness activities and local activism.
I’ve had the opportunity to take a cooking class and learn about healthy food choices through the Carver Center. I can also turn to my guidance counselor or teacher there if I am having problems with my work.
The George Washington Carver Learning Center is what a great learning center should be. The tutors and teachers there help elementary to college students with their homework. For me and others, it’s like a comfortable environment with people who care about our future.