Press Release

America’s Promise Alliance and Capital One Announce 2007 100 Best Communities for Young People

Competition Salutes Outstanding, Innovative Efforts That Benefit Young People

January 25, 2007 (Washington, D.C) - To celebrate the launch of its 10th anniversary year, the America’s Promise Alliance today announced the winners of its 2007 100 Best Communities for Young People competition.  In partnership with Capital One, 100 Best showcases cities and communities across the country that tackle challenges and demonstrate innovative efforts to deliver the Five Promises that young people need to succeed  – caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others.

More than 750 communities from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, entered the 2007 competition. The 2007 100 Best winners circle includes communities and cities from 38 states, representing localities large and small, urban and rural.

A complete list of and additional information about the 2007 100 Best communities is available at www.americaspromise.org.

“Nothing is more important than seeing that our children and youth have the resources and support systems they need to thrive and succeed,” said America’s Promise Founding Chairman General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.).  “When a community provides all that its young people need to be healthy and secure, they deserve to be honored and showcased as an outstanding example of what it takes to successfully nurture this nation’s youth.” 

100 Best Communities for Young People was first launched in 2005 by General Powell, in partnership with Capital One Financial Corporation.  Other members of the America’s Promise Alliance — including United Way of America, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Association of Counties and the American Association of School Administrators and many others — took leading roles in encouraging communities to compete in the 2007 100 Best contest.

“It’s our hope that the winners’ innovative efforts inspire more communities to take action and make their young people a priority,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, President and CEO of the America’s Promise Alliance. “100 Best salutes what’s good about America, those communities that come together and go the extra mile to help our young people succeed.”

“Capital One believes that every family should have the opportunity to provide for their children in ways that ensure future success," said Capital One President of Global Financial Services and America’s Promise board member Larry Klane, who also served on the 2007 selection panel. "Through the 100 Best competition, we can recognize communities that foster the type of environment where children and families have opportunities and resources to realize their potential.”

Communities chosen as one of the 2007 100 Best were selected by a panel of civic, business and nonprofit leaders, including United Way of America President Brian Gallagher, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and Moderator of Meet the Press Tim Russert, CEOs for Cities’ President and CEO Carol Coletta, and former Denver mayor Wellington Webb.

The selection criteria for communities recognized as the 100 Best included: innovative examples of community support for children and youth; resources that the children receive that benefit the Five Promises; and youth outcomes such as graduation rates, physical and mental health and civic engagement. Other important factors in determining the 100 Best included a commitment to engaging committed partners and individuals from all sectors and evidence of work to raise awareness of young people’s needs, using relevant data, and driving people to act and advocate to make children a top priority.

“It is wonderful to salute outstanding communities that are making a difference in people’s lives – especially young people,” said Brian A. Gallagher, President and CEO, United Way of America. “In working with America’s Promise, United Way is committed to helping assist communities across the nation follow the examples provided by winning communities and adopt similar programs that will help our nation’s young people succeed in life.”

America’s Promise was created at the 1997 Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future by Presidents Bush, Carter, Clinton, Ford and First Lady Nancy Reagan, who challenged America to make children and youth a national priority. The goal of America’s Promise is to help change the lives of 15 million underserved young people over the next five years through the power of the Five Promises.

A comprehensive research report released by the Alliance, entitled Every Child/Every Promise, measured the presence of the Five Promises in young people’s lives, as well as the impact the Promises have on children’s overall well-being. The report revealed that to succeed in life, young people must experience at least four of the Five Promises. Moreover, when youth receive these fundamental resources, economic and racial disparities can be eliminated.

However the report also showed that less than one in three of our young people are receiving enough of the Five Promises to be confident of success. Millions don’t yet have even one of these essential resources.

For more information on individual winners of the competition and for a full list of the 100 Best please visit www.americaspromise.org.

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About the America’s Promise Alliance

America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s leader in forging a strong and effective partnership alliance comprised of corporations, nonprofit organizations, foundations, policymakers, advocacy and faith groups committed to ensuring that children receive the fundamental resources - the Five Promises – they need to lead successful, healthy and productive lives and build a stronger society. Building on the legacy of our founder General Colin Powell, the Alliance believes the success of our children is grounded in experiencing the Five Promises - caring adults; safe place; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others - at home, in school and in the community.

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation is a financial holding company, with more than 324 locations in Texas and Louisiana. Its principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B., Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., and Capital One, N.A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Capital One's subsidiaries collectively had $47.2 billion in deposits and $108.4 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 2006. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 500 index.