Prince William County, Virginia
- Community name: Prince William County
- Website: http://www.pwcounty.org/
- Population: 406,110
- Graduation rate: 88.2%
- Youth poverty rate: 7.2%
Third-time 100 Best winner Prince William County is again being honored for its commitment to addressing the challenges facing its youth through education and safety initiatives. Students Learning Essential Assets of Development (L.E.A.D.) gives youth leaders from each high school the opportunity to be trained in ways to implement community service projects including participating in town hall meetings on underage drinking, food drives, and bingo night at nursing homes. To encourage student interest in science, technology, engineering and math, Prince William County’s schools partnered with Northern Virginia Community College and local businesses to initiate the SySTEMic Solutions program, which provides financial support, mentoring and networking opportunities to students. The county also supports safety initiatives to combat gangs and youth violence through its Gang Response Intervention Team (GRIT), which educates community members and directs them to available resources, such as the school bulling prevention program, Olweus.
- SySTEMic Solutions is a partnership of the school division, Northern Virginia Community College and local businesses to improve student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The partnership provides financial support, mentoring and networking opportunities.
- At-Risk Youth and Family Services program is a collaboration of private and public human services providers. The providers determine what community resources can be used to best address troubled youth to successfully manage or eliminate debilitating conditions.
- Gang Response Intervention Team (GRIT) attempts to educate and provide a network of resources to community members to combat gangs and youth violence.
- Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is a nationwide bullying prevention program that’s implemented in schools.
- Habitual Runaway Program is an initiative of the local police department. The program enlists officers who are specially trained to identify potential runaways and take preventative measures.
- Students Learning Essential Assets of Development (L.E.A.D.) is a group of youth from each high school in the county who congregate to learn about 40 Developmental Assets® and plan how they will implement these in their schools and community.
“I have been blessed to be raised in Prince William County. Between the amazing teachers, diverse opportunities and community involvement, Prince William County is pretty much as good as it gets.”
“My future has been positively impacted and supported not only by teachers, but also community leaders. Our county as a whole supports the youth to create the best futures possible.”