Press Release

America’s Promise Alliance Holds 100 Best Communities for Young People National Forum in Washington, D.C.

7 Other Individuals Will Also be Recognized for Their Advocacy on Behalf of Young People and Community Service at White House Reception

(ALEXANDRIA, VA)—America’s Promise Alliance (the Alliance) today announced that it will honor First Lady Laura Bush this evening with one of its National Promise of America Founders’ Awards (Founders’ Awards). Mrs. Bush will be recognized for her unwavering commitment to children and youth, particularly in the areas of education and literacy. During her tenure as First Lady, Mrs. Bush has reenergized the nation around literacy issues and has worked tireless to recruit more teachers for America’s schools through her work with Teach for America, The New Teacher Project, and Troops to Teachers. Mrs. Bush also head’s up the President’s Helping America’s Youth initiative where she has worked to raise awareness about the challenges facing our youth, particularly at-risk boys.

The Alliance’s founding and current Chair General Colin and Alma Powell will join President and Mrs. Bush, Alliance partners and supporters at the White House for this award reception and celebration of the Alliance’s 10th anniversary.
 
The Founders’ Awards are a one-time honor commemorating the Alliance’s 10th anniversary by recognizing those Americans whose work and philanthropy exemplify the deep concern for children and spirit of community service found in the Alliance’s mission and at the President’s Summit for America’s Future held in 1997. Seven awards in total will be given out during the ceremony and the honorees were chosen by the Alliance and its six founding partners: the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Communities in Schools, Corporation for National and Community Service, MENTOR, Points of Light & Hands On Network and the United Way of America.

“The Alliance was founded as a result of an historic gathering of America’s Presidents so I can think of think of no more appropriate way to commemorate our first ten years and renew our commitment for the next decade than by gathering at the White House to honor several people whose vision and support have been instrumental to our work and inspirational for the nation,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “We are honored to be able to share this evening with the President and First Lady and recognize Mrs. Bush for her tireless work to ensure that young people here and abroad have all the resources they need to lead successful, healthy lives.”

The other Founders’ Award recipients and their presenters are:

Doris and Donald Fisher—Alliance founding partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America will honor the Fishers for their 40+ years of commitment to ensuring that young people have a safe place to learn and grow. The Fishers founded Gap Inc. in 1969 and have contributed more than $100 million to programs dedicated to young people, including Boys and Girls Clubs, Teach for America and the Knowledge in Power Program (KIPP).

Elaine Wynn—Alliance founding partner Communities in Schools will honor Ms. Wynn, the founding chairperson of Communities in Schools in Nevada (CIS) and wife and business partner of hotel entrepreneur Steve Wynn. She has been a lead advocate for establishing academic standards in the state of Nevada and expanding access to after school programs for all children and youth in America.

Maria Shriver, First Lady of California—Alliance founding partner the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will honor Ms. Shriver for her longstanding commitment to community service in America. As First Lady of the nation’s largest state, she has made community service a cornerstone of her work, encouraging Californians to volunteer through “It’s about WE,” a statewide program to promote and mobilize volunteers. She is also Honorary Chair of CaliforniaVolunteers, the largest statewide network matching interested volunteers with causes in need.

Reverend J. Donald Monan, S.J.—Alliance founding partner MENTOR will honor Father Monan, a founder of the Mass Mentoring Partnership and MENTOR. During his 30+ years as the head of Boston College, Father Monan worked to ensure that every young person has a caring adult in their lives. Serving as a mentor to countless young people himself, his goal has always been to inspire future generations to follow his commitment to ensuring that every child who wants a mentor has one.

Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Jr.—Alliance founding partner United Way of America (United Way) will honor Dr. Frist, founder of the Hospital Corporation of America, for his support of young people interested in the arts and health and human services. Equally important has been Dr. Frist’s contribution to helping improve how non-profits operate through planning and the use of technology. As founder of the United Way’s “Tocqueville Society,” Dr. Frist played a key role in transforming how the United Way operates allowing for a broader reach and bigger impact to help more young people.

Raymond G. Chambers—Alliance founding partner the Points of Light & Hands on Network will honor Mr. Chambers for his broad reaching work to help disadvantaged youth. In addition to being the founding chairman of the Points of Light Foundation, he is also the co-founder of MENTOR, and was one of the lead architects of the Presidents Summit for America’s Future which launched the Alliance. Mr. Chambers has also lent his support to programs like Malaria No More and the Elders Council and has a special interest in improving the lives of young people in his hometown of Newark, NJ.

The Alliance’s work over the next five years will focus on improving the nation’s high school completion rates which is part of and its new 15 in 5 campaign.  The goal of the 15 in 5 campaign is to make sure that more of the resources necessary for success are available to 15 million of the nation’s most disadvantaged youth. To support this work, the Alliance has developed three National Action Strategies around health care access and insurance, middle-school student civic and vocational engagement and using schools as hubs for the delivery of comprehensive resources to kids.

About the America’s Promise Alliance
America’s Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest 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 a child’s success 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. For more information visit: www.americaspromise.org.

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