CALDWELL — Caldwell achieved national recognition Wednesday as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People. The award is presented by ING, a global financial institution, for Caldwell’s initiatives to help young people. The competition recognizes communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing service and support to their youth.

Caldwell, a 100 Best winner for a second time, boasts a high graduation rate and a low crime rate thanks to its numerous initiatives to keep youth safe and in school, according to a 100 Best Communities press release. The Caldwell Youth Coalition, a partnership between the City of Caldwell and the Caldwell School District, addresses issues facing youth such as safety, after-school supervision, health, education, workforce readiness and community involvement. Another program, Advocates Against Family Violence (also known as Hope’s Door), teaches families who come from violent situations how to make positive life choices through advocacy, support, education, awareness, affordable housing and community involvement.

Caldwell also ensures its youth have a voice in community decisions, as well as opportunities to volunteer with the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council. In addition to these after-school programs, in 2010, the Caldwell School District began the Caldwell Freshman Academy. This freshmen-only school was started to improve graduation rates by helping some freshmen make a more successful transition to high school through small class sizes and team-building exercises.

Caldwell will receive a $2,500 grant, signs identifying the community as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People, and access to America’s Promise Alliance’s community development resources.

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