On Thursday, May 18, 2023, the Neighborhood Development Division received the Community Impact Award for its outstanding work in youth leadership and engagement and workforce development with the Great Promise Partnership Program (GPP). The award was given by Georgia City Solutions (GCS), Georgia Municipal Association’s non-profit.
“Receiving this prestigious award is a tremendous honor for the City of Valdosta, ” said Anetra Riley, Neighborhood Development and Community Protections Manager. ” I am delighted to work for a city passionate about helping and preparing our youth for their future by offering mentorship and a paid internship.”
The City of Valdosta is one of the first municipalities to participate in the GPP Program starting in 2012. The program provides Valdosta’s youth with up to two years of employment, job training, life skills, mentoring, and income as incentives to graduate high school and prepare them for college, the future workforce, or both.
GCS held its inaugural Community Impact Awards event at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta. The event showcased GCS’s impactful and innovative work to help Georgia cities thrive and provide all residents with opportunities to reach their full potential.
The following honorees were recognized during the event:
- Individual – Dr. Annise Mabry for her work in the area of workforce development, youth engagement, and DEI in rural Georgia.
- Organization – Creature Comforts Brewing Co. for the Get Comfortable Initiative to improve the percentage of Athens-Clarke County 3rd graders reading on grade level from 20%-where it sits today-to 60%.
- Dublin for their long-standing commitment to elevating youth leadership and engagement through the Dublin Youth Council, the Dublin-Laurens County Teen Court, and the Summer Youth Works programs.
- Lawrenceville for the city’s commitment to strengthening community relations, advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and enhancing youth leadership and engagement.
- Valdosta for their work in youth leadership and engagement and workforce development through the Great Promise Partnership program.
Georgia City Solutions, Inc. (GCS) is a 501(c)(3) organization created in 2018 by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) to help cities address the challenges of intergenerational poverty. The mission of GCS is to establish and support innovative programs, solutions, and research aimed at building vibrant, economically prosperous, and well-managed cities and improving the quality of life of municipal residents.
For more information about the GPP Program, contact Anetra Riley at 229-671-3617.