Calvert Youth in Good Hands According to America

November 17, 2011

On Thursday, Nov. 17, America’s Promise kept its promise to American Youth by honoring one of the top 100 communities in the nation – Calvert County. According to Senior Director of America’s Promise’s 100 Best Communities for Young People Partnerships and Programs, Jordan LaPier, “Calvert County has won this honor for two years in a row and has indeed proven itself to be one of the best communities in the country at helping its youths.”

LaPier went on to state that over 300 communities were nominated and the selection process is a grueling ordeal for these nominees involving a Blue Ribbon Panel of judges making the final selection. “It is no easy task to earn this award,” said LaPier. “Communities have to work together across many asset development programs involving in and out of school care and growth programs geared toward making the lives of youths better and more rewarding.”

The America’s Promise organization was initiated by former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell in 1995 who was the organizations first leader. America’s Promise is now headed by Powell’s wife, Alma. That was about the same time Calvert County created Calvert Crusade for Children.

Marie Andrews, 84, recent past President of the Calvert Collaborative for Children and Youth (formerly Calvert Crusade for Children) stated, “This has been a 15-year effort and on days like today very rewarding to get the recognition for all the hard work by people and organizations in this community. It is all about making the lives of children better and more productive.”

Andrews stated that the main focus for programs across the country is to help raise high school graduation rates. “Children who graduate are better prepared for college, become more productive members of society and ultimately bolster the economy,” said Andrews.

That sentiment was reinforced by Calvert Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jack Smith in his remarks when he related that Calvert’s graduation rate over the past five years is 93 percent, but the goal is to continue to work toward improving. LaPier is his presentation announcement stated that Calvert’s high school graduation percentage is a large reason the county had won the award two years in a row.

Calvert County Commissioner President, Susan Shaw also remarked on how proud the entire community is of the effort to improve the lives of children and how pleased everyone should be at the success.

LaPier closed the ceremony by stating that Calvert had set the bar very high for future nominees before turning the microphone over to Master of Ceremonies. Guffrie Smith, Calvert Collaborative for Chidlren and Youth’s incoming president who gave Marie Andrews a hearty round of applause for her tireless efforts.

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