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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2008 Media Releases

January 24, 2008
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Barbara Baier, City Grants Administrator, 441-8272

Competition honors City’s efforts to help young people succeed

America’s Promise Alliance today announced that Lincoln is a winner of its 2008 100 Best Communities for Young People competition. More than 300 communities in all 50 states applied for the honor this year, and the winners come from 37 states. The Alliance is the nation’s largest alliance dedicated to children and youth and conducts the awards program in partnership with Capital One. Lincoln is now eligible to apply for $300,000 in grants from the Alliance.

“This national recognition confirms what we have always known – there is no better place to raise children than Lincoln,” said Mayor Beutler. “This award specifically recognizes this community’s efforts to help young people graduate from high school and prepare for college and the workforce. I want to thank the many organizations across the City who collaborated on telling Lincoln’s story to the distinguished panel of judges.” Beutler made the comments from Washington, D.C. where he is attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. The City will be recognized at a 100 Best reception this evening in Washington.

The 100 Best competition was first held in 2005. To enter, cities are required to submit detailed information on existing community programs and initiatives that help deliver the “Five Promises,” resources identified by the Alliance as being critical to the development of healthy, successful children: caring adults; safe places; healthy start; effective education; and opportunities to help others.

Among the highlights of Lincoln’s application were the following programs and services:

  • The Community Services Initiative coordinates programs in basic and emergency needs, behavioral health, child and youth development and abuse prevention.
  • The Community Learning Centers make use of local schools to offer services to students, families and neighborhoods.
  • The Learn to Dream program offers scholarships to all students graduating from the Lincoln Public Schools or private schools who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The scholarships, funded by Union Bank & Trust and Nelnet, provide tuition and fees for up to 45 quarter credit hours at Southeast Community College.
  • The Parks and Recreation Department’s recreational centers offer a range of social, recreational and educational opportunities to young people, including inter-generational activities, multi-ethnic community gardening, nutrition education and other childhood obesity prevention services.
  • The Peoples Health Center provides healthcare to uninsured and under-insured children and families.

“The prosperity of every community and this country depends on how well we care for our children and youth,” said Marguerite W. Kondracke, President and CEO of the Alliance. “Although no place is perfect, when we have communities that make young people a priority and are working to make sure they stay in school and have all the resources necessary to lead healthy, productive lives, we must recognize them and by extension inspire other cities and towns to follow their lead.”

“At Capital One, we are committed to building stronger communities, one neighborhood at a time,” said Carolyn Berkowitz, Vice President of Community Affairs for Capital One. “That’s why we’re proud to partner with the Alliance on the 100 Best competition to recognize the tremendous work in communities across the country to create environments where children and families have boundless opportunities as well as the support systems necessary to champion their growth and encourage their success.”

For more details about the 100 Best competition and to see a complete list of the 2008 winners, visit

Mayor's Office    Media Releases