“I was extremely impressed by the collaborative spirit of Davie County as well as the multiple avenues available to young leaders, and I loved the enthusiasm and results that were shared as part of the presentation,” said Patti Garrett, National Civic League board member, immediate past president, and Mayor of Decatur, Georgia, who came to present the plaque to the commissioners and Davie County community.
The award, bestowed yearly on ten communities (over 500 recipients in all), 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.
This year’s theme for the All-America City/County Award was “Creating Thriving Communities through Youth Engagement,” and focused on identifying 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.
Garrett explained that applications go through an intensive review process by an independent panel of experts. Twenty finalists were invited to present during the 74th All-America City Awards Conference held in Denver, Colorado, June 9-11. The top ten, including Davie County, received the All-America designation.
She commented on each program detailed in Davie County’s application and complimented the youth who presented them. “I think everyone was really impressed with the S.U.R.F Board Grantmakers program and the way that the group is self-regenerating and self-funding.”
“The fact that Davie County’s Career and Technical Education program offers 27 career pathways and 98 percent of CTE concentrators graduate is remarkable! It was really fun to hear from the individual students and to hear about the programs that have inspired them to pursue different careers.”
“The IGNITE DAVIE College Promise was also impressive with a two-year college completion rate about three times the community college norm.”
While Davie Respect Initiative was not formally scored and included in the judges’ final decision, it was part of the original application and contributed to the selection of Davie County as a finalist. DRI adult program sponsors and youth participated in the presentation during the competition in Denver.
County Manager Brian Barnett thanked Garrett for traveling to Davie County and presenting the award on behalf of the National Civic League, pointing out that the City of Decatur also was one of the ten award winners in Denver. “She illustrates the true spirit and meaning of being All-America!”
*Photo Credit John Gallimore