Pascagoula among 100 Best Communities for young people

Pascagoula Schools Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich watches a student using one of the district's newest computer labs.
Pascagoula Schools Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich watches a student using one of the district's newest computer labs.

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A national organization has named Pascagoula as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in America for its efforts to reduce the high school dropout rate. The honor comes from America's Promise, founded by General Colin Powell.

The group says winning communities were chosen because of their dedication to provide healthy, safe and caring environments for young people and help ensure more are graduating from high school. The Pascagoula School District has an aggressive anti-dropout campaign called Destination Graduation that gets the community involved in helping keep teens in high school.

Each year, more than 16 percent of Mississippi high school students dropout.  With more than 7,000 students dropping out each school day in America, this year's competition looked closely at what communities are doing to reduce dropout rates and prepare local youth for college and the 21st century workforce.

To help increase graduation rates, the Alliance is committed to recognizing communities - regardless of size, location or history - that are working across sectors and taking real action to help young people stay in school. Which is why the 100 Best competition is part of the Alliance's Grad Nation campaign, a 10-year initiative to mobilize all Americans to end the dropout crisis.

More than 350 communities from all 50 states and the District of Columbia were nominated for the honor. The winners, 30 of which were first-time recipients, hail from 37 states. Winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of judges that included some of the nation's most well-known civic, business and nonprofit leaders.

America's Promise Alliance is the nation's largest partnership organization dedication to improving the lives of children and youth. Building on the legacy of its Founding Chairman General Colin Powell, the Alliance believes the success of young people is grounded in the Five Promises-caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others.

Click here to read a message from the Mississippi Superintendent of Education about Mississippi's high school dropout rate and state efforts to keep student in high school.

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