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Obama Administration Announces Eight Additional Promise Zones to Build Community Prosperity

Second Round Promise Zones Announcement

The Obama Administration announced eight additional Promise Zones across the country, including six cities, one rural area, and one tribal community. Promise Zones are high poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, reduce violent crime, enhance public health and address other priorities identified by the community. Through the Promise Zone designation, these communities will work directly with federal, state and local agencies to give local leaders proven tools to improve the quality of life in some of the country’s most vulnerable areas.

View the Press Release.

View the National Fact Sheet: New Promise Zones Building Stronger Ladders of Opportunity.

Accelerating Economic Mobility through Promise Zone Partnerships

Through the Promise Zone initiative, the Obama Administration is working to expand economic mobility and opportunity in urban, rural, and tribal communities. Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council and Luke Tate, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Mobility co-authored a blog on how Promise Zone partnerships help to increase economic mobility in the communities they serve.

View the White House Blog.

Funding Opportunity

U.S. Department of Education Announces $3 Million in Grants Available to Help Native Youth

The U.S. Department of Education announced the availability of an estimated $3 million in grants to help Native American youth become college- and career-ready. Funding for the new Native Youth Community Projects is a key step toward implementing President Obama’s commitment to improving the lives of American Indian and Alaskan Native children. The new grants will support the President’s Generation Indigenous “Gen I” Initiative launched last year to help Native American youth.

In a Federal Register notice, the Department said it would award five to seven demonstration grants ranging from $400,000 to $600,000 to tribal communities before Sept. 30. The new program is based on significant consultation with tribal communities and recognizes that these communities are best-positioned to:

  • Identify key barriers to improving educational and life outcomes for Native youth, and
  • Develop and implement locally produced strategies designed to address those barriers.

Each grant will support a coordinated, focused approach chosen by a community partnership that includes a tribe, local schools and other optional service providers or organizations. Communities can tailor actions to address one or more of those issues. The success of these first projects will guide the work of future practices that improve the educational opportunities and achievement of preschool, elementary and secondary Indian students.

Notice of Intent to Apply Deadline: June 2, 2015

Transmittal of Applications Deadline: June 29, 2015

Upcoming Webinar

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assets for Independence Webinar - May 14, 2015 - 2:30 PM EST

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Community Services (OCS) is seeking applications for the Assets for Independence (AFI) demonstration program.

AFI is a federal funding program that enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement asset building projects serving low-income individuals and their families. AFI grantees enroll participants to save earned income in special-purpose, matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). The allowable asset purchases under AFI funds align with the employment and small business goals of the Promise Zones program. AFI applicants collaborating with federal place-based initiative(s) and serving populations located in those areas are eligible for bonus points in the AFI application review.

Application Deadline: June 15, 2015

View information about resources, trainings, and other assistance for grantees and potential applicants on the AFI Resource Center website.

View the AFI Funding Opportunity Announcement.

View the AFI Fact Sheet.

OCS will host a webinar to introduce the 2015 AFI funding opportunity and share the experiences of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, an AFI grantee and Promise Zone designee.


  • Emily Appel-Newby, AFI Resource Center
  • Dawn Hix, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Robin Counce, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Sara-Jane Smallwood, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

When: May 14, 2015 2:30 - 3:30 PM EST
RSVP: Register for the webinar

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