Manatee named one of best communities in U.S. for young people

Manatee County has again been named one of the best 100 communities in the United States for young people by the America's Promise Alliance.

Manatee is one of only 22 communities nationwide to receive the honor five times. The 2011 honorees were announced last month.

In part, this is what America's Promise said about Manatee County and the specific programs honored:

"As a fifth-time 100 Best Communities for Young People winner, Manatee County continues support the development of its young people with a variety of mentor programs, health initiatives and volunteer opportunities. Hands On Manatee helps youth find volunteer opportunities and scholarships, while ManaTEENS offers teens from underserved communities opportunities to give back to their community and attend after-school programs. Manatee County also helps LGBT youth through its teen-led Prism Youth Initiative which offers support groups and safe space for teens to gather. Keeping youth healthy is another priority in Manatee County. Through its Healthy Teen Coalition, young people can learn about living a healthy and responsible life with free health tests and education resources. To make sure parents know about these resources, the community hosts an Annual Children’s Summit highlighting services available to youth and their families."

Other Florida communities honored this year were Alachua County, Greenacres, North Lauderdale, Plantation, St. Petersburg and Tampa/Hillsborough.

St. Petersburg is the only other Florida community to be honored five times.

The honor comes with a $2,500 grant to be used for community needs.

Founded by Colin Powell, the America’s Promise Alliance has become the nation’s largest partnership dedicated to improving the lives of young people.