Jordan LaPier, senior director of the program for Washington D.C.'s America's Promise Alliance (APA), announced that Honolulu had again made the list (also in 2006 and 2008). Communities were chosen for collaborating to shape policy that serves the needs of young men and women and reduces high school dropout rates, "Our winning communities are not perfect places," said LaPier. "Every community has its challenges. But these are communities that are dedicated to making youth a priority and taking action to make that commitment a reality." Honolulu was one of more than 350 nominees drawn from across the nation for consideration, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Programs that contributed to the award include the A+ after-school programs, Keiki Caucus, a group of lawmakers and administrators who propose legislation to address the needs of children, and Youth Service Center, which focuses on providing children with volunteer opportunities. Although Furlough Fridays (a decision last year to cut school expenses) were considered, the APA felt the community turned that negative into a positive. Many local partners came together and created service opportunities for kids on those days when they weren't in school," LaPier said. "They used that opportunity to enrich what they were learning in the classroom and connect it to experience in the real world."
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