Davie County, NC, has been named an All-America City by the National Civic League. Davie County was one of 20 communities selected as finalists from across the country to compete for this prestigious award in Denver, Colorado.
The National Civic League’s All-America City Award has celebrated the best in American civic innovation since 1949. Although the award is called All-America City, it is actually a competitive forum of best practices open to cities, counties, tribes, and community organizations of all types.
The Award recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government leaders. By celebrating the best in local innovation, civic engagement, and cross-sector collaboration, the All-America City Awards remind us of the potential within every community to tackle challenging issues and create real change.
This year’s theme for the All-America City Award was “Creating Thriving Communities through Youth Engagement.”
The 2023 award sought to identify communities that are breaking down barriers to meaningful youth participation and enacting programs that will improve the quality of life for youth and, by extension, all members of the community. Davie County’s application focused on youth programs that build the civic capacity of young people, increase job readiness and employment opportunities and provide leadership opportunities.
“Winning the All-America Award was truly a team effort across Davie County that included our community organizations, businesses, elected boards and government, and our residents – especially our Youth! said Davie County Manager Brian Barnett. “We have and will continue to achieve great things when we work together, because “WE ARE – DAVIE COUNTY!”
In keeping with the award’s focus on youth, 12 student representatives from IGNITE DAVIE College Promise, S.U.R.F Board Students Grantmakers, Davie High’s Career and Technical Education Program (CTE), and the Davie Respect Initiative were instrumental in planning and presenting Davie’s program.
With the support of their program leaders, county and municipal representatives, and community leaders, the students gave a ten-minute presentation about the impact these programs are having on the youth of Davie County, followed by a Q&A from the judges.
Youth participants were excited to share their programs and ideas with communities across the nation. “The All-America City Conference has been an excellent experience for me as I was able to share our small-town ideas within the big city of Denver,” said rising senior Macey Smith, who represented Davie County High School’s CTE program. “Traveling to Denver has allowed me to meet new individuals from all over the country while still fellowshipping with individuals from our local community. This experience is something I will never forget and is something I am extremely grateful to have been invited to. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.”
Mocksville Town Manager Ken Gamble expressed the delegation’s appreciation for the tremendous support from the community.
“We would not have been able to send a delegation to Denver without the full support of our community. This included countless hours of volunteer time given by the delegation and the All-America Project Team. The trip was funded with donations by businesses and individuals, including Trailers of the East Coast, Special Event Services, UTA Sports, Glast Graphics, Penry-Terry–Mitchell Law Firm, and several anonymous benefactors. Community organizations, including the Davie County Economic Development Commission, Davie Community Foundation, and Davie County Chamber of Commerce, also provided financial support. Other donations were made by Davie Respect Initiative, Ignite Davie, S.U.R.F. Board Grantmakers, and DHS Career & Technical Education Program. Last but not least, both financial and staff resources were provided through our local governments and elected boards, including Davie County, Towns of Bermuda Run, Cooleemee and Mocksville, and Davie County Schools.”
Davie High’s career development coordinator, Alyse Wooldridge, summed up the experience, “What a journey this has been! From a conversation with Ken Gamble during a Leadership Davie event about applying for AAC to finding out we were a finalist, to the actual competition…it’s been an amazing experience! I am so proud of the students and programs that represented Davie County. I’m even more proud to be born and raised in an All-America County because We Are…Davie County!”
Watch Davie County’s presentation beginning at timestamp 1:08.
The delegation and a National Civic League representative will celebrate the award with Davie County on July 1, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at Davie County Community Park as part of our 4th of July festivities.