Salisbury/Wicomico County, Maryland
- Community name: Salisbury/Wicomico County
- Community or city website
- Population: 98,733
- Graduation rate: 82.7%
- Youth poverty rate: 10.0%
A five-time 100 Best winner, Salisbury/Wicomico County continues to make young people a top priority in programming, funding and decision-making. For the past 10 years, the Wicomico Partnership for Families and Children has invested $6 million in local funds to create family-focused programs encouraging youth leadership and positive development. Free programs are offered to students over the summer to prevent learning loss before school begins in the fall and during the school year mentors work closely with children to help support their academic and character development. By emphasizing cross-sector collaboration between the Chamber of Commerce, NAACP and the Board of Education, Wicomico County’s graduation rate of 82.7 percent is above the national average.
- Wicomico Partnership for Families & Children/Local Management Board is a family-focused department that supports after school programs, gang intervention and prevention, youth leadership and positive youth development activities.
- Salisbury’s Promise, Wicomico Partnership for Families and Children, and Kids of Honor allows roughly seventy students the opportunity to attend a three-day Youth Leadership Academy and elects one student representative to the Board of Education .
- The Chamber of Commerce and NAACP collaborate to provide mentors, internships, food banks, homeless shelters and donations to support youth and their families. Back to School events distribute school supplies, coupons for clothes and other assistance to stress the importance of continued education.
- The Wicomico Mentoring Project brings mentors to youth at school, which has increased student attendance by 46 percent and their grades by 41 percent.
- The Board of Education partnered with Recreation and Parks to create the Kids Klub After-School program, which has maintained a low monthly fee for participants.
- The Free Summer Playground Program in high-risk community parks and neighborhood playgrounds operates a summer camp for young people aged 6 to 21 with Special Needs.
Without programs such as the Youth Leadership Academy, I would not have as much drive and ambition that I have today.
I think that this is the best community because people try to help teens graduate. Some people might help and write you a letter of recommendations. I think they really care about this generation graduating high school and college