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What makes Jackson one of the best communities for young people?

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In the last three years, the City of Jackson has been working on building partnerships with local nonprofit agencies and school districts. They've also led the Jackson Promise Coalition to increase graduation rates. This program has been recognized by America's Promise Alliance, naming Jackson one of the "100 best communities for young people" for the last two years in a row.
Catherine Lee, a representative of the Jackson mayor's office, says what they are really focusing on now is what can be done about high school dropout rates and getting kids in college and vocational programs.
One Jackson is a program of the Jackson Promise Coalition. Led by United Way, One Jackson is a partnership specifically put together to increase the success of summer reading programs in partnership with the local library system and the city government.
Greater Jackson is home to a number of colleges and universities as well as the largest community college system in the state of Mississippi.

"All are really strong partners in one way or another," says Lee. "They communicate among each other. The diversity of exchange is really unique for our city."
Jackson is also home to the state's only medical teaching facility at the University of Mississippi. The doctors and nurses that are trained there go on to work throughout the state, and the city is working with the university to create health care "corridors" in Jackson and develop part of the city along Highway 49. Their campus is one of the largest employers in the state.

"The planning and development they're bringing to Jackson is so important to the city's future," Lee says. "They are a phenomenal partner." Research indicates that the training of one doctor creates 10 additional support and service jobs, making this educational component a major part of the city's and state's economic development overall. 

Writer: Nicole Rupersburg
Source: Catherine Lee, City of Jackson

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