January 26, 2007 - Posted at 5:55 p.m. CST
POPLAR BLUFF-For the city of Poplar Bluff, it comes as a great honor.
"We are now one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People, so congratulations," remarked Rebecca Winters, director of Poplar Bluff's Promise to a room full of leaders Friday morning.
And because of the work of more than 500 volunteers, Poplar Bluff students have improved their grades, raised the graduation rate, and raised attendance numbers to well above the state average.
"It's a great honor that the community is recognized for all the hard work of those individuals that really work hard to provide a great program for young people in our community," said City Councilman Lloyd Matthews.
The program's success is attributed to one major element.
"We do not compartmentalize our jobs. We consider that the kids of poplar bluff are our job, and whatever it takes, that's what we do," said Brenda Allen of Poplar Bluff Public Schools.
And what they do, they do it well.
A proud mayor of Poplar Bluff would attest to that as she red a proclamation to the crowd. "On behalf of our city council I'm happy to present you this proclamation from the city recognizing the hard work from everyone that has brought this honor to our community."
And the hard work is what helps those students in need, and those trying to achieve.
"Because of Poplar Bluff promise we have been able to meet those needs and break down those barriers that keep them from succeeding in school," said Allen.
And it's things like the community wide mentoring programs that have made the biggest difference to the Poplar Bluff Promise.
"Those students really believe now that somebody at school cares about them, that the people at school care about them," said Allen.
And it's that care from a community united, that brought on a reputation recognized nationwide.
"I hope we can sort of ride on this great positive moment that we have here in our community for a long time to come," said Winters.
For a complete list of who made the Top 100 Communities for Youth check out the America's Promise web page at www.americaspromise.org.