25 of the Best Communities for Young Latinos

There are 25 communities on this year's list of 100 Best Communities For Young People that are home to many Latinos.  The 100 Best presented by America's Promise Alliance is an annual competition that showcases outstanding communities where young people can thrive.

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    Alexandria, VA Latino Youth Population % = 16.1 Alexandria, a 100 Best winner for the fourth time, continues to help young people succeed with its comprehensive programs that address issues in education, gang violence and after-school programs. Alexandria has a Gang Prevention Community Task Force that educates the community about gang suppression, prevention and intervention. The T.C. Williams High School Vision and Action Committee, comprising parents, teachers, community representatives and students, developed a plan to improve student performance. A part of the plan includes Individualized Achievement Plans, which help students perform at higher levels in math and English. To better align all programs serving youth, the new Children, Youth & Families Collaborative Commission develops and advocates for integrated city-funded programs. Alexandria also has a Child Thrive! program which seeks to enhance the well-being of children through programs that help parents find employment, get domestic violence counseling and sign up for public assistance. Alexandria residents also have an opportunity to invest in the future of their youth with the Child $ave! program. Families, citizens and businesses can contribute to Children’s Development Accounts for youth that reside at Brent Place, an apartment complex in Alexandria. These young people can access their accounts when they turn 18 to use for post-secondary education, purchasing a home or starting a business. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Ken Lund
    Ken Lund
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    Aurora, CO
    Latino Youth Population % = 27.6
    Aurora, a 100 Best winner for the second time, encourages youth success through early intervention, after-school programs and job training initiatives. Aurora ensures its youth have a healthy and safe start through the Nurturing Parent Program. The program helps new parents build the necessary skills to become supportive parents. The Arapahoe County Early Childhood Council also supports early intervention initiatives like daycare and mental health programs. The Colorado Preschool Program, attempts to curb dropout rates by providing quality early-childhood education to the children in Aurora by enabling them to attend preschool for free. Older youth in Aurora can attend free after-school programs through COMPASS, and can receive arts job-training at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts. Aurora also provides job training and college preparation assistance to youth transitioning out of the foster care system through the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Wikipedia
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    Brighton, CO
    Latino Youth Population % = 40.5
    Brighton, a first-time 100 Best winning community, has maintained small-community values and has kept children a priority despite a rapid population growth. Youth in Brighton can voice their opinions as members of the Brighton Youth Commission. These young people meet twice a month to participate in community events and service projects while also studying, planning, and implementing programs impacting youth. Local businesses are also involved in creating brighter futures for youth with the Education Workforce Committee which creates local partnerships to promote education and a career-ready workforce. A healthy lifestyle is also important in this community where teens can receive physicals, immunizations, dental care and family planning from the New Horizons Teen Clinic. Reducing dropout rates is also a top-priority in Brighton. The Gateway to College program helps 16–21 year olds, who have dropped out of school or who are at-risk of doing so, earn a high school diploma while also earning college credits. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Jimmy Wayne
    Jimmy Wayne
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    Chino, CA
    Latino youth population % = 52.1
    Chino has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People for a fourth time. Community collaborations, safe neighborhoods, family support, dedication to health services and access to post-secondary education are just a few of the initiatives that make Chino a community that is dedicated to its youth. Initiatives like The Teen Advisory Committee (TAC), help connect high school students with city leaders and provide input on issues their peers face. To emphasize its dedication, the city also devotes 75 percent of its Community Services Department’s $6.9 million budget to youth programming and facilities. To improve the health of students, the Chino Valley Unified School District’s Health Council works to ensure all students have: regular physical fitness in school; safe routes to school and places to be after school; and restricted foods in school that do not meet California's School Nutrition Standards.   Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Public Domain
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    Chino Hills, CA
    Latino Youth Population % = 26.8
    Chino Hills, a first-time 100 Best community, pays special attention to its most at-risk young people with programs that encourage students to live healthy and stay in school. As a California Healthy City, Chino Hills has a committee that helps improve the quality of life for all community members by addressing complex social, physical and environmental health problems. Chino Hills also ensures its young people stay safe, healthy and active after school with its Mobile Recreation program—a van that provides free activities and healthy snacks to young people that may not have easy access to safe and supervised after-school activities. To ensure more youth have access to affordable health insurance, Chino Hills provides the Inland Empire Health plan for free which offers comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance for children until their 19th birthdays. The Aim Higher and Children’s Academic Recovery Education programs are helping decrease dropout rates and ensure more youth receive proper academic support. Aim Higher is a 12-week program where students discuss conflict resolution, goal setting, anger management and drug/alcohol prevention; and the Children’s Academic Recovery Education Program assigns homeless students case managers who provide counseling, clothing, toiletry items, emergency transportation and other daily necessities.   Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Public Domain
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    Corona, CA
    Latino Youth Population % = 42
    Corona is a first-time 100 Best Communities for Young People winner that has continued to make the roles of parents and caregivers easier by providing support and resources needed to raise children in a safe, active and successful environment. The community also puts a strong emphasis on diversity. For example, each high school offers diversity camps and access to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered organizations. These efforts aim to prevent bullying and provide Corona’s youth with greater understanding, appreciation and value of diversity. To ensure all young residents stay healthy, Corona hosts an annual free health clinic. On average, 1,000–3,000 residents take advantage of the program and receive free screenings and tests. Corona’s Settlement House and its Foundation for Community and Family Health also offer free immunizations, food, clothing and shelter. One of Corona’s most popular health programs is its 100 Mile Club. The program is designed to encourage students to walk or run 100 miles throughout the school year. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Gge Wen
    Gee Wen
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    Flagstaff, AZ
    Latino Youth Population % = 18
    This is the first time Flagstaff has been named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People. The community’s dedication to its young people can be seen in its variety of programs to support young people, develop their leadership skills and ensure they have the resources needed to succeed. Not only do numerous business and nonprofit organizations come together to support area youth, the city dedicates 10 percent of its budget to youth activities. The community values input from its young people and provides them with real world leadership experience through programs like Project Citizen, where students choose an issue they care about and learn how to make a difference through the public policy process. The city’s Youth Advisory Council provides guidance to the City Council on youth issues while the Coconino Coalition for Children and Youth’s (CCC&Y) Youth Advocacy Committee hosts a Youth Open event each year. Attended by key community leaders, school administrators and many others, the Open provides an opportunity for youth groups from Flagstaff to host an information table and address the community through skits, music, poetry and various demonstrations.  Caption: America's Promise Alliance Photo: Search Net Media
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    Glen Cove, NY
    Latino Youth Population % = 30
    A first-time winner of 100 Best Communities for Young People, Glen Cove is being honored this year because of its holistic approach to educating students and innovative programs encouraging the involvement of young people in the community. One such program, the Community Action Using Student Empowerment Program, prepares high school students to be informed, responsible and involved citizens. Part of the curriculum requires students to organize fundraisers for nonprofit entities such as Ronald McDonald. Students are also taught civic responsibility by participating in mock debates and assisting in voter registration. The Glen Cove After 3 program helps ensure students have a safe place to learn outside of school by providing after-school and summer programming. Participants meet for three hours a day during the school year and all day during the summer to keep classroom skills sharp when class is not in session. The First Presbyterian Church in Glen Cove offers programs to educate youth about discrimination and the importance of tolerance. Glen Cove is committed to putting its youth on a path to success at an early age. As early as sixth grade, students begin to create a 10-year plan. Their academic and extracurricular activities in middle and high school are structured to support that plan with an end goal of attending college. Caption: America's Promise Alliance Photo: Public Domain
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    Greenacres, FL
    Latino Youth Population % = 36
    A four-time 100 Best Communities for Young People winner, Greenacres continues to make young people a priority through its academic programs, leadership initiatives and opportunities for them to become future community leaders. From elementary school through high school, Greenacres make its young residents a priority. The Youth Delegates in Action Council’s mission is to serve as the collective voice for youth and develop programs aimed at developing leadership skills from grade school through senior year. In partnership with the Mayor’s Challenge and Read for the Record, The Literacy Coalition helps expose more young people to science, math, engineering and technology. The community places an emphasis on volunteerism through its Junior Counselor program for fifth through eighth graders and Counselor in Training Program for all high school students. The counselor training programs help students support their peers and also develop leadership skills for participants. In addition, the city works in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities to improve the wellness of its residents by planting gardens and providing nutrition education to all members of the community, including the Hispanic and Haitian populations. Caption: America's Promise Alliance Photo: Public Domain
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    Indio, CA
    Latino Youth Population % = 65
    America’s Promise Alliance named Indio as one of its 100 Best Communities for Young People for the first time because of the community’s   commitment to supporting youth through various leadership, education and mentor programs. Such programs include the Youth Advisory Council which offers a leadership conference for teens and provides feedback to the city council on youth issues. The Indio Youth Task Force, a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by the Indio Police Department, helps connect families with resources and provides a positive direction for youth . The Task Force is strategically located in a migrant farming community to target the low-income population.  Each year, the Task Force collaborates with more than 100 community-based organizations to provide a Kids Club Mentoring Program and distribute $200,000 in scholarships and grants.   Caption: America's Promise Alliance Photo: Rojer
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    Landfall, MN
    Latino Youth Population % = 25.8
    This is Landfall’s third 100 Best Communities for Young People win. The community’s small size has not prevented it from developing great programs that demonstrate its dedication to local youth. The City of Landfall has worked with FamilyMeans, a nonprofit human services agency, to develop more summer and after-school programs for youth, such as Investigation Station and the Landfall Youth Bicycle Program. Working together to support youth is a priority for the community where the Landfall Empowerment Coalition, an informal group of city, school, law enforcement and nonprofit stakeholders comes together to coordinate a community resource fair to share information about their programs with local families and youth. Landfall also offers a tutoring program for elementary through high school students called Extra Innings. Students in the tutoring program work one-on-one with tutors two evenings each week during the school year. Caption: America's Promise Alliance Photo: Panoramio
    ohbigsilly Panoramio
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    Longview, TX
    Latino Youth Population % = 21.4
    Longview, a two-time 100 Best winner, continues to make its young residents a priority. The city not only has abundant after-school programs, youth recreation activities and numerous volunteer opportunities, but Longview also allocates approximately 10 percent of its annual budget for community services that directly benefit its youth. Overall, the residents remain committed to helping their young people maneuver the challenges they face on the road to adulthood. Specifically, Longview’s Youth Action Committee allows its young residents to participate in numerous community volunteer projects, leadership development exercises and provide a youth voice when reporting to the City of Longview departments. The Longview Economic Development Corporation Workforce Academy helps prepare local students for higher education by holding evening classes for college credits. Partners in Prevention is a mentoring program that offers year-round, out-of-school youth programming including athletic and art classes, money management and life skills classes. Through these efforts, Longview’s graduation rate remains above 70 percent. Caption: America's Promise Alliance Photo: Paul Anderson
    Paul Anderson
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    Lubbock, TX Latino Youth Population % = 31.4 This is the first year Lubbock has been recognized as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s 100 Best Communities for Young People.  Lubbock residents are committed to ensuring their youth are brought up in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment. To ensure local youth are making educated health decisions, the Texas Healthy Adolescent Initiative uses an evidence-based youth development approach to increase healthy behaviors. During the local Bully Prevention Day, 800 bookmarks were distributed featuring bully-free designs from local students. To develop future local leaders, Youth in Philanthropy puts Lubbock’s young residents through an advanced leadership track where they solicit and then review local organization grant applications. In addition, the Youth Connection Program offers volunteer opportunities and training in leadership development and civic engagement. Lubbock’s efforts are reflected in its graduation rate, which is nearly 82 percent.
    Scott W. Lang
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    Marina, CA
    Latino Youth Population % = 27
    A first-time 100 Best Community for Young People winner, Marina has demonstrated its commitment to young people through its mentoring programs, after-school initiatives, sports activities, healthy eating and community service opportunities. Each day, the Breakfast Club, a program that has helped dropped truancy rates to 10 percent, serves free breakfast to nearly 125 kids who need a place to go before school starts. Marina also helps provide young people with a safe place outside of school by sponsoring youth sports teams with the Community At Play Partnership, which raised $50,000 to support youth athletics in 2010. In addition, Marina offers the Friday Night Live program, which connects students with mentors that offer guidance and encouragement. Students in Marina are encouraged to serve their communities through the Builders Club, a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce that allows young people to engage in projects from collecting items for the local animal shelter to supporting local troops and senior citizens. Caption: America's Promise Alliance Photo: Rodenburg via Panoramio
    Rodenburg via Panoramio
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    Montrose County, CO
    Latino Youth Population % = 18.2
    As a first-time 100 Best winner, Montrose County makes young people a priority through its support for disadvantaged youth, after-school programming and community learning opportunities. As Montrose County combats a 19 percent youth poverty rate, the Colorado Homeless and Runaway Youth Leadership Team works to impact the lives of these young people. The team operates a runaway hotline, helps to coordinate and maintain a suicide hotline, and plans fundraisers to help youth move into independent housing. In 2011, Library Journal named Montrose County’s Naturita Community Library the Best Small Library in America, an honor sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The library offers after-school programming four days a week and a summer reading program for preschool aged children through the second grade. Montrose County School District’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers and after-school program for elementary school children provide academic support for students and have helped decrease the dropout rate. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Eric Cobb
    Eric Cobb
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    New York City, NY
    Latino Youth Population % = 28.6
    New York City, a fourth-time 100 Best winner, has continued to show how America’s largest citiy can make its youngest residents a priority by dedicating resources to supporting youth and promoting education. New York is dedicated to making sure every student has a pathway to success and has implemented the Mayor’s Interagency Task Force on Truancy and Chronic Absenteeism as well as the Transition to High School Program, which assists middle school students who have done poorly on standardized tests. The New York Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering also implemented a Math After-School Mentoring Program that connects graduates and post-doctoral students with elementary school students. New York has also devoted resources to the LGBTQ community with the NYC Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Runaway and Homeless Youth, which provides homeless youth with shelter and support, and also helps them reunite with their families. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Getty Images 2011
    2011 Getty Images
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    North Lauderdale, FL Latino Youth Population % = 28 As a first-time 100 Best winner, North Lauderdale invests in its young people’s futures by committing approximately 11 percent of its 2010 budget to support services for local youth. These resources support disadvantaged youth, after-school education programs and health initiatives. Programs like 4 Children’s S.A.K.E., After School @ Your Library and the North Lauderdale Community Development Department’s community garden help to make a difference for young people. The 4 Children’s S.A.K.E. all-volunteer group supports youth in foster care through mentoring and other engaging activities. At the North Lauderdale Saraniero Branch of the Broward County Library, the After School @ Your Library offers free homework help for children aged 6–12. The North Lauderdale Community Development Department’s community garden provides residents in lower income areas the opportunity to rent a garden plot to grow their own healthy food. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Public Domain
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    Oklahoma City, OK
    Latino Youth Population % = 23.5
    This is Oklahoma City’s fifth time on the 100 Best Communities for Young People list. Oklahoma City’s variety of programs to help build the character, well-being and academic achievement of its young people continue to make it an example for other communities. Among its many initiatives is the Metropolitan Area Projects for Kids program, which aims to have more than 70 new and renovated schools by the end of 2012. The Leadership Oklahoma City’s Youth in Action program and Supporting Kids in Independent Living (SKIL) initiative works to help young adults living on their own graduate high school. All 37 SKIL students graduated high school in 2011, and 20 of them will be attending college in the fall. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Eric Clapper
    Eric Clapper
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    Plantation, FL
    Latino Youth Population % = 20.4
    Plantation, a three-time 100 Best winner, continues to make youth a priority through its education initiatives for academically advanced students, recreational outlets for the disabled, and youth volunteer opportunities. Plantation is advancing education through the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Middle Years Magnet program. The nationwide honors program creates a continuum of study in diverse subjects for high-achieving students. The Plantation Athletic League Dynamites program, which includes about 300 participants with mental or physical disabilities, offers youth an opportunity to participate in recreational or competitive sports. Volunteering is also an important part of student development in Plantation schools, as students are required to complete 40 hours of volunteering to graduate. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Public Domain
    Public Domain
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    Prosser, WA
    Latino Youth Population % = 37.2
    This is the first time Prosser has been named one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance and ING. This community of less than 6,000 people is dedicated to its young people and providing them with academic support and leadership opportunities. The Prosser School District school board demonstrates its commitment to young people by maintaining a youth advisory position, filled by a representative who is consulted on all youth matters, including school policy, community issues, and student services. The Library Academy provides computers and homework assistance to all students while the 21st Century Afterschool program at the middle school offers safe and structured activities with academic assistance within the school building immediately after school. All schools in Prosser are designated as drug-free zones and a zero tolerance policy on weapons, violence and bullying is heavily enforced. Through such efforts, Prosser graduates nearly 74 percent of its students. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: The Lane Team
    The Lane Team
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    Solano County, CA
    Latino Youth Population % = 22
    This year marks the fifth time that Solano County has been recognized as a 100 Best winner. Through teamwork and local involvement, the community reinforces the fact that education does not begin and end in the classroom. Solano residents engage youth through various service programs, instilling in them the notion that everyone can make a difference. Solano residents have come together during tough economic times to make sure that local youth still had a safe place to be during non-school hours after a critical state-wide childcare program was eliminated. Solano’s First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission youth programs stepped up to ensure that the children would remain safely in their homes and child care centers. To help address poor birth outcomes among high-risk pregnant teens, BabyFirst Solano was created and now, 97 percent of newborns in the county are healthy and 99 percent were immunized last year. The community is working to create a college and career-going culture among its young people with its five-year Master Plan for College/Career-Ready Graduates initiatives. Based on the Ford Foundation’s best practices, this plan was created by partners from the education, business, nonprofit, city, county and faith communities, and builds on the success of career academies already in place in the Vallejo City Unified School District. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Public Domain
    Public Domain
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    St. John Community Alliance
    Latino Youth Population % = 54.6
    St. John Community-School Alliance’s (SJCSA) efforts to encourage youth leadership, education and health has earned it the honor of being named one of the 2011 100 Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the fourth time. A great example of St. John’s youth-focused work is the annual HopeFest, which connects nearly 4,000 residents to resources such as health care, legal advice, employment opportunities and more. In addition, the AVID program helps “students in the middle” achieve success in Honors and AP classes, and also helps them enroll in college. Thanks to the efforts of the AVID program, 98.2 percent of graduates enroll in college, and over 60 percent remain for four years, beating the national average by 25 percent. SJCSA has worked to overcome high poverty, crime and substandard schools, and now has over 55 partner organizations working together to support area youth, making this community a leader in its area for collaborative planning. Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Stuart Seeger
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    Tampa/Hillsborough County, FL
    Latino Youth Population % = 22.3
    Tampa/Hillsborough County’s collaborative spirit and its ability to create partnerships among individuals, organizations, business leaders and the school district helped implement initiatives to provide a pipeline of services for young people. These factors contributed to their selection as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People for a third time.  The community’s Youth Action Collaborative provides an open forum for young people ages 14 to 21 to work with adults in the community and to give youth an active voice in deliberations and decisions that affect their lives. As a result of the collaborative, several key organizations have formed youth councils to advise on policies and programs within the local government. Tampa/Hillsborough County supports its most vulnerable young people with programs like Connected by 25, which annually assists more than 500 students aging out of the foster care system with finding and keeping an apartment, maintaining a bank account, job searches and staying employed. With more than 1,000 after-school programs created by The Partnership for Out-of-School Time and funded by the Children's Board, students have a safe place to reside during non-school hours. More than 100 individuals and organizations volunteer their time and support to maintain these programs.   Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Public Domain
    Public Domain
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    Waterbury, CT
    Latino Youth Population % = 28.8
    America’s Promise Alliance named Waterbury one of its 100 Best for a second time because of the city’s dedication to confront issues in the community head on and to improve the quality of life for young people and their families through its ambitious Birth to 21 Plan. Special community programs like Safe Home and Safe Places provide young residents with direction and skills to succeed, offering venues for young people to go if they have been neglected or abused. Health and dental care are also offered to insured and uninsured young people through the Health Clinic and the Smile Builders Program. The Waterbury Public School System now has more than 700 volunteers serving as Parent Liaisons, offering assistance to youth in need, breaking down barriers and encouraging community participation. Due to this and other efforts, Waterbury now graduates 86.3 percent of students from high school.   Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Daniel Case
    Daniel Case
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    White Plains, NY
    Latino Youth Population % = 24.4
    White Plains has been named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People for the first time because of its commitment to making the city a safe and vibrant living environment for young people. With the help of an active PTA and youth-serving organizations such as Project Trust and Step Up, young people are given the support they need to flourish. For the past 40 years, the White Plains Youth Bureau has served as a formal branch of government, providing financial support and policy initiatives to aid youth. With 26 full-time and 150 part-time employees, the agency will likely become the largest youth bureau in New York State. The Step Up program provides support to young, at-risk African-American and Hispanic men and helps them find jobs. Graduates of the Step Up program have achieved a 75 percent employment rate. The community’s efforts have resulted in a 40 percent decrease in the number of crimes committed by people under the age of 21 and an 85.7 percent graduation rate.   Caption: America's Promise Alliance
    Photo: Public Domain
    Public Domain
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