For Prince William County parents worried about their children’s education, perhaps they need have no fear.  Evidently it’s a great place for youth.

America’s Promise Alliance recently chose the county as one of its 100 best communities for young people. The group was founded by former secretary of state Colin Powell and his wife. A Washington Post article on the honor said that according to county officials, “Supportive educators, numerous after-school activities and volunteer opportunities that are available for students all make Prince William County shine as a place for young people…”

The mission of America’s Promise Alliance is to ensure students graduate from high school and are ready to move on to college. Indeed, graduation rates in Prince William County schools are not too shabby. In 2010, approximately 88 percent of students graduated on time. Of course, Virginia itself does pretty well graduation-wise. About 85 percent of students graduated on-time statewide in 2010. These figures are up from 2009. In that year, Prince William County graduated 84.3 percent of students while the state graduated 83.3.

But graduation from high school is just half the battle. That’s why the support of organizations like America’s Promise Alliance is so important. It is essential that students graduate high school prepared for the next stage of their education. America’s Promise Alliance does this by advocating for the five key supports children need:

  • Caring adults such as parents, teachers, mentors, coaches and neighbors
  • Safe places that offer constructive activities when young people are not in school
  • A healthy start and healthy development
  • An effective education that prepares young people for college and work
  • Opportunities to help others through service

Fortunately, it looks like Prince William County does a good job in these areas as well. So, keep up the good work, Prince William County. And all parents can ensure it does by keeping an eye on the facilities, services and support given to their children.