Pitt County, North Carolina
- Community name: Pitt County
- Community or city website
- Population: 168,148
- Graduation rate: 47.9%
- Youth poverty rate: 25.3%
Pitt County has been recognized by America’s Promise Alliance as one of its 2011 100 Best Communities for Young People because of the county’s efforts to make youth a community priority through youth leadership, healthy eating, dropout prevention and art programs. A third-time 100 Best winner, Pitt County is diverse with a major university and a community technical college, a regional medical center, and a growing manufacturing industry. The county’s emphasis on cross-sector collaboration and supporting academic success is evident in the Pitt County Impact Alliance, a coalition that has named Dropout Prevention initiatives a top priority and has decreased Pitt County’s dropout rate by 25 percent.
- The Link Crew program offers training opportunities for junior and senior high school students to mentor and support incoming freshman at each high school in Pitt County; the Link Crew also had a role in the development of the Pitt County Dropout Prevention Campaign.
- The Pitt County Impact Alliance made Dropout Prevention initiatives a top priority and focused its efforts on the reading levels of K-3rd graders.
- The first initiative of the Pitt County Impact Alliance, the Twilight Academy, is an after-school program that identified upperclassmen in need of additional credits to graduate on time.
- At-risk teenagers gather for dinner and painting every Monday night as part of The Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge Gallery, allowing the youth to interact with professional artists and work on projects such as murals or painted community benches.
- Pitt County’s provides free meals to children up to at 18 years old through the Summer Food Service Program, ensuring that children have access to nutritious food when school is not in session.
- During the school year, 12 Community Schools and Recreation After-School Programs include the GO FIT! afterschool program, in which students participate in weekly nutrition lessons, engage in 60 minutes of exercise, and enjoy healthy food.
Health Sciences Academy has provided me with tools to achieve my maximum academic potential in high school. I now have a true passion for volunteering, something I never would have discovered without HAS.