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America's Promise Alliance and the ING Foundation Partner to Recognize the 100 Best Communities for Young People

Competition Spotlights Cities and Towns across America that are Great Places for Young People

America's Promise Alliance and the ING Foundation Partner to Recognize the 100 Best Communities for Young People

Competition Spotlights Cities and Towns across America that are Great Places for Young People

Published 11-18-09

Submitted by ING

The America's Promise Alliance (the Alliance) today announced a three-year partnership with the ING Foundation to recognize the 100 Best Communities for Young People (100 Best). Launched in 2005, the 100 Best competition celebrates communities that have made the well-being of young people a top priority through programs that help them reach their potential, prepare them to graduate high school, and succeed in the 21st century workforce. Last held in 2008, the 100 Best competition has been updated for 2010 to include more specific selection criteria on how communities address their high school dropout rates and will include local celebrations in each of the 100 winning communities.

"The no. 1 predictor of whether a young person succeeds is whether they receive a high school diploma. Our 100 Best communities understand this and are working every day to help children and youth in their communities overcome challenges and reach their potential," said Marguerite Kondracke, president and CEO, America's Promise Alliance. "This work isn't easy, but it's essential, and that's why we’re thrilled to partner with the ING Foundation - a longtime supporter of our Alliance - to recognize outstanding large cities and small towns and share their great example with the rest of the nation."

The 2010 100 Best competition will serve as a key component of the Alliance's Grad Nation Campaign, which has a goal of helping the nation cut the high school dropout rate in half by 2018. Communities will not only be judged on the success of dropout prevention initiatives, but also on their delivery of the "Five Promises": caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, an effective education, and opportunities to help others - holistic support resources that research shows increase a young person's chances of success and will help achieve the Grad Nation goal.

"ING is committed to children's education, and joining with America's Promise to recognize communities that share in our goal of empowering young people to achieve a better future is a natural extension of our partnership," said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, ING Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. "We are excited to learn about and celebrate modeling programs around the country that are helping to reduce the high school dropout rate."

To participate in the 2010 competition, applicants must submit a research-based application early in 2010, which will be judged by a distinguished panel of civic, business and nonprofit leaders, as well as young people who are part of the Alliance’s Impact Network. Previous selection panel judges have included such well-known figures as the former mayors of Indianapolis and Denver, the First Lady of West Virginia, leadership from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and United Way, and the late Tim Russert. The 2010 application drive will be announced in February 2010.

The previous 100 Best competition was the most competitive in the initiative’s history, with nearly 750 applicants from more than 300 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To learn more about 100 Best or read about prior winners, visit:

About America's Promise Alliance
America's Promise Alliance is the nation's largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. Through the collective power of our partner network, we raise awareness, support communities and engage in nonpartisan advocacy to ensure that young people receive more of the fundamental resources they need to graduate high school prepared for college, work and life. Building on the legacy of our Founding Chairman General Colin Powell, the Alliance believes the success of our young people is grounded in the Five Promises-caring adults; safe places; a healthy start; an effective education; and opportunities to help others. For more information about America's Promise Alliance, visit

About ING
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance, and retirement services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 115,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.

In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves nearly 30 million customers across the nation.

ING's diversity management philosophy and commitment to workplace diversity, diversity marketing, corporate citizenship and supplier diversity fosters an inclusive environment for employees that supports a distinctive product and service experience for the financial services consumer.

For more information, visit

About the ING Foundation
The ING Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where ING operates and its employees and customers live. Through charitable giving and employee volunteerism, the foundation focuses on programs in the areas of financial literacy, children's education, diversity, and environmental sustainability.

For more information, visit

Notice to U.S. Persons

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ING U.S. constitutes the U.S.-based retirement, investment management and life insurance operations of Netherlands-based ING Groep N.V. (NYSE: ING). In the U.S., the ING family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, including retirement plans, IRA rollovers and transfers, stable value, institutional investment management, mutual funds, alternative investments, life insurance, employee benefits, fixed and indexed annuities and financial planning. ING U.S. holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 13 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit

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