News & Events
For third year in a row, Edina named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People
Annual competition recognizes communities that prioritize youth education and well-being
EDINA, Minn. – Edina community leaders learned today that for the third year in row it has been named one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People presented by ING. The national award is given to communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing services and support to their youth, making the community an outstanding place for youth to live, learn and grow.
“Receiving this recognition is an honor, but receiving it for three consecutive years is recognition that Edina is not only dedicated to quality, but willing to invest in it as well,” noted Scott Neal, Edina City Manager.
Edina was recognized for its extensive network of community partnerships, including the Edina Public Schools, City of Edina, Edina Chamber of Commerce, The Edina Community Foundation, Connecting with Kids program, and other local organizations.
America’s Promise also noted Edina’s commitment in providing area youth with a variety of programs focused on community service and leadership that help them grow up to be well-rounded and civic-minded.
For example, the Edina Community Foundation offers community service programs and safety awareness sessions, and supports Edina’s city parks. The community’s Connecting with Kids program brings together city, public school officials, and religious leaders with families to provide resources and programs that support their young people.
"We are very excited to be recognized again,” said Heather Haen Anderson, Connecting With Kids Executive Director. “Being named one of America's Best 100 Communities for Young People is further evidence of how all the generations in Edina collaborate in support of our children as they grow to be healthy, caring and responsible adults."
Edina also offers programs that teach its youth leadership skills. One such program is the Youth Serving Youth program at Edina High School, which encourages students to put their ideas into action through program involvement. Students can also earn a “letter” (an award earned for excellence in student activities) in community service by performing at least 120 hours of service, which more than 100 students have earned annually.
According to Ric Dressen, Edina Public Schools Superintendent, such opportunities for student leadership are part of the reason Edina High School has a 99 percent graduation rate.
“We know that when students are given the opportunity to be involved in their community doing meaningful work, they are better engaged in their school and are more likely to graduate with their peers,” Dressen said. “Edina Public Schools is fortunate to have such a supportive community, both inside and outside the school, that is committed to investing in its young people and allowing them to thrive and succeed.”
With the recognition, Edina will receive a $2,500 grant to continue its outreach to local youth, signage 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.
“We can all be proud of this award—the young people who work hard to succeed in school, their parents and teachers who provide a supportive environment for their learning, and the seniors who contribute generously of their time and resources to civic programs,” said Dick Crockett, Executive Director of The Edina Community Foundation. “Edina is truly a community for all generations, and we greatly appreciate this recognition of the many groups and individuals who help us fulfill our responsibility to raise healthy children and develop a strong community.”
* A list of all 2012 winners can be found at AmericasPromise.org/100Best