Tuscaloosa named top 100 city for young people

Jennie Kushner

Tuscaloosa can now boast being named one of the nation’s 100 best communities for young people.

On Sept. 21 America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to children, recognized Tuscaloosa County in Washington D.C. along with other winners.

“Being named a Top 100 in anything is great for Tuscaloosa, but being recognized with this honor goes to the many fine community service organizations and people that contribute to our young people, which means we are investing in our future,” said Robert Ratliff, executive director of Visit Tuscaloosa.

The Alliance recognizes communities that make youth a priority by including programs that help children stay in school and help prepare them for life after high school, according to their website.

Charles Nash, UA system vice chancellor for academic and student affairs and co-chair of Tuscaloosa’s Promise, said Tuscaloosa received the award because of its positive aspects for the youth.

“I am thrilled that our greater Tuscaloosa community has been recognized as a good and getting better place for young people,” he said.

Tuscaloosa County High School offers a service-learning course that

pairs social studies and English with community volunteerism, according to the county’s website.

Nash said this award contributes to excellences of the county.

“This recognition acknowledges that our community is moving in the right direction and that we are engaged in significant ways to be keepers of the five Promises that each community should make to its children: a healthy start, a safe place after school hours, a quality education, a caring adult and an opportunity to give back to the community,” Nash said.

“I sincerely thank all who are working to ensure these outcomes for our children,” he added.

Some UA students said they thought the award is appropriate.

Joseph Fender, a freshman majoring in business, said he’s enjoyed the Tuscaloosa life since moving here.

“This award is fitting because Tuscaloosa is a true college town,” he said. “I like how the town takes an active roll in the University.”

Cara Krauser, an advertising major, said Tuscaloosa is a great place for everyone.

“Tuscaloosa has a lot to offer a person,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student or if you have a family. Tuscaloosa has something for everyone.”

Chip Zay, a senior majoring in marketing and management, said he thinks Tuscaloosa deserves more credit.

“It’s not really that surprising that Tuscaloosa won this award,” he said. “Tuscaloosa is really underrated as a city. There is a lot more here than people realize.”