(ALEXANDRIA, VA)—Recognizing that issues which will determine the future success of our nation’s children – health care, quality education, safe places to live and learn – are important to voters, Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates shared their promises to our youth in a new video from the America’s Promise Alliance. The candidates also shared personal reflections about people who were positive influences in their lives and put them on the path to become productive adults.
“The most important promises we can make in life are the promises we make to our children to help them become happy and successful adults,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “As the Presidential candidates introduce themselves to the public, America’s Promise Alliance wanted to ensure that they had a platform to discuss their commitment to our youth. We are grateful that the candidates took the time to tell us what they would do as President to elevate the Five Promises.”
The Alliance’s roots are based in the commitment made in 1997 by our nation’s Presidents to deliver the Five Promises – caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others – to our young people. Ten years ago, General Colin L. Powell, the founding chairman of the Alliance, stood with Presidents Bush, Clinton, Carter, and Ford, with Nancy Reagan representing her husband, and challenged America to make children and youth a national priority. Since the Alliance’s inception in 1997, more than two million adults have become mentors to young people. More than four million children now have health insurance. Job shadowing has provided four million more young people with introductions to the working world and 1.2 million young people are volunteering more than 100 hours every year.
The Alliance landmark study, Every Child Every Promise (ECEP) showed that if our children experience at least four of the Five Promises, their chances for success dramatically increase. Specifically, ECEP found that children receiving four of the Five Promises, as compared to youth receiving zero to one Promise, are far more likely to be successful, including twice as likely to get A’s, twice as likely to avoid violence and 40 percent more likely to volunteer. Furthermore, in many cases, gaps between racial and economic groups are greatly reduced and, sometimes, eliminated.
According to a recent poll conducted by the organization Every Child Matters, voters in Iowa and South Carolina identified issues of child well-being such as child health care and education as important to them when selecting a candidate. Forty percent of Democrats and 34 percent of Republicans in Iowa, and 51 percent of Democrats and 38 percent of Republicans in South Carolina, stated that they would change their minds and support a different candidate based on children’s issues.
The Alliance’s video also features the candidates discussing how the Five Promises have impacted their lives and what they would do as President to ensure that our nation’s youth receive the Promises. To view the video, log on to www.americaspromise.org. The America’s Promise Alliance’s “Five Promises and the Candidates” video initiative was designed to educate the public about the Five Promises and their impact on the lives of the 2008 presidential candidates, and where children will be on each candidate’s agenda. The America’s Promise Alliance is a non-partisan 501 (c) 3 organization and does not endorse or support any candidate or party, nor should distribution of this video imply such endorsement or support.
About the America’s Promise Alliance – www.AmericasPromise.org
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 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.