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America's Promise Alliance and the ING Foundation Begin Search for This Year's 100 Best Communities for Young People

Competition Recognizes Nation's Top Communities Taking Action to Help Reduce High School Dropout Rates and Create Brighter Futures for Young People

Published 02-25-10

Submitted by ING

America's Promise Alliance (the Alliance) and the ING Foundation today announced the official call for entries for the 2010 100 Best Communities for Young People (100 Best) competition. The Alliance and the ING Foundation seek to recognize 100 American cities and towns whose top priority is keeping children in school and helping end the nation's dropout crisis through innovative programs that are addressing everyday challenges facing young people and creating better places for them to live and grow.

Interested communities can apply March 1 through June 1, 2010, online at The theme for this year's competition is 'Get on the Map,' as the winners will be recognized in September at a Washington, D.C. ceremony marking each winning community on the U.S. map. Winners will also receive two road signs designating the community as one of the 100 Best, logistical and financial support for a local celebration, as well as national publicity.

"A 100 Best community is one that is working together and taking real action to develop confident, resilient young people ready for college and the 21st century workforce," said Marguerite W. Kondracke, president and CEO of America's Promise Alliance. "This competition is an opportunity to nationally recognize and reward commitment to young people and offer these cities and towns as an example for the rest of the country."

More than 7,000 students drop out each school day in the U.S. resulting in 1.3 million young people a year. To help decrease these numbers, the Alliance and the ING Foundation, the competition's presenting sponsor, are more committed than ever to recognizing communities - regardless of size, location or history - that are taking real action to help more young people stay in school and graduate on time. First held in 2005, 100 Best honors progress being made to help young people achieve their potential, which includes earning a diploma, getting a good job, and playing an active, productive role in America's economic vitality.

"ING shares the Alliance's passion to invest in the development and future of America's young people," said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president of ING's Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. "We encourage every community across the U.S. to strive for 100 Best distinction, take meaningful steps to reduce local dropout rates and help open new doors for neighborhood youth."

Earning the 100 Best distinction not only demonstrates commitment to local young people; the award fosters local pride, bolsters economic development and shines the spotlight on the people and programs that are building better communities. The competition also facilitates the sharing of best practices among communities nationwide regarding education, access to health care, reading score improvement, youth service, pre-school enrollment and more.

Community representatives are encouraged to log on and download the application early in order to gather the resources and information necessary to enter. Technical support conference calls and Webinars are regularly scheduled to answer questions and clarify the nomination process. Additional information can be found at

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, and financial planning. 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



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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