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UK TEAMS WITH COLIN POWELL
AS NEWEST UNIVERSITY OF PROMISE

By Selena Stevens

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"By becoming a University of Promise, the University of Kentucky is furthering a historical partnership between itself and the youth of Kentucky.  As a society, all of us benefit when youth are given the resources they need to become successful adults."

-- Retired Gen. Colin Powell

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Nov. 29, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – The University of Kentucky today becomes the second largest land-grant university in the United States to partner with America’s Promise — The Alliance for Youth, led by retired Gen. Colin Powell. At Harrison Elementary School in Lexington, UK made an official commitment as a University of Promise to America’s Promise. UK is one of 50 higher education commitment makers participating.

“By becoming a University of Promise, the University of Kentucky is furthering a historical partnership between itself and the youth of Kentucky,” Gen. Powell said.  “As a society, all of us benefit when youth are given the resources they need to become successful adults.”

Founded in Philadelphia in April 1997 at the Presidents' Summit for America's Future, America's Promise is mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of our nation’s youth by fulfilling five promises:

• ongoing relationships with caring adults,

• safe places with structured activities during non-school hours,

• a healthy start and future,

• marketable skills through effective education

• and opportunities to give back through community service.

“The University of Kentucky has a unique responsibility for outreach and public service to support the citizens of the commonwealth,” said Lisa Higgins-Hord, community affairs director for UK and coordinator of UK’s America’s Promise effort. “It is not enough that an academic institution challenge young minds in the classroom and create new knowledge in the laboratories. A university must transfer that knowledge to the people in the surrounding community, state, nation and even the world. Being part of America’s Promise is a way for UK to do this while helping improve the lives of our communities’ citizens, including children.”

UK is partnering in the program with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government; Lexington is a Community of Promise.

To fulfill its promise – “Enriching and Improving Lives of Kentucky’s Youth” – the University of Kentucky will develop several new programs, while focusing on and expanding others already in place.

Nearly 550 towns, cities, counties and states and more than 500 national organizations have united to fulfill the five promises.

UK’s America’s Promise initiatives are expected to reach nearly 150,000 youth, and Higgins-Hord said she hopes that number increases and more UK units become involved in the program. UK departments and divisions involved in America’s Promise include UK Student Ambassadors, the UK Athletic Department, 4-H Extension, the College of Human Environmental Sciences, the College of Architecture, Student Affairs, the College of Dentistry, UK fraternities and sororities, The Nubian Council, Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, UK Children’s Hospital and the College of Education. 


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