07/07/2011 05:43 pm ET Updated Sep 06, 2011

Obama Administration Keeps Eyes on the Prize

What a wonderful investment in America!

President Obama and his administration have seen the challenges facing young people in our country today who are hitting hard against the "Opportunity Ceiling" and have once again made a smart investment in the next generation by offering $30 million in grants for Promise Neighborhoods this year.

From the Northern Cheyenne Nation in Montana, to Worcester, Mass., to Indianola, Miss., we've seen communities begin to use the Harlem Children's Zone model to build results-oriented, community-driven efforts centered around strong schools.

Last year, over 330 communities applied for planning grants to begin building Promise Neighborhoods. Now, communities can apply for grants to both plan and implement Promise Neighborhoods. This renewed commitment from Congress is exactly what we need in order to lift children out of poverty so that they can learn, grow, succeed and come back to help the next generation thrive.

Every community has islands of excellence and people working hard to make a better life for their children. With long-term commitment from the federal government, and public and private engagement, we can widen these islands of excellence into a nation of opportunity and achievement.

The future depends on what we do today. We need to invest in Promise Neighborhoods now so that all children can reach their full potential.