CHARLESTON -- First Lady Gayle Manchin has announced Chesapeake Energy Corporation is donating $100,000 to grow and sustain America's Promise in West Virginia.

The donation will supply the needed funding to hire a full-time statewide director and support the statewide initiative.

America's Promise is a collaborative network that builds upon the collective power of communities and partners to help fulfill the Five Promises for every young person in America: caring adults; safe places; healthy starts and healthy futures; marketable skills; and, opportunities to give back to their communities.

"Pamela Dugan, West Virginia's Promise statewide director, has been hired to work with America's Promise Alliance partners and state and community leaders to develop sustainable goals to ensure all of West Virginia's youth receive the Five Promises," Manchin said.

Dugan is an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow Alumni from Jefferson County who also served as the AmeriCorps Promise Fellow Leader as well as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow Site Supervisor, and she has an extensive background in community service, volunteerism and leadership strategies.

Scott Rotruck, director corporate development, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, said, "Chesapeake is committed to supporting volunteerism and programs that make a difference in our communities and that help our children succeed. We are appreciative of the opportunity to provide resources to ensure West Virginia youth are touched by the Five Promises. It is a great honor to work with First Lady Gayle Manchin whose leadership has brought together such a diverse coalition of community leaders and volunteers."

Dugan explained she will work with national, state, and local organizations, like West Virginia Partnerships to Assure Student Success (WVPASS) to promote and coordinate outreach to community leaders, elected officials and mobilization of public/private partners.

"I am very excited to fulfill this new role for the state of West Virginia," Dugan said. "In this role I will provide technical assistance to communities in developing and maintaining sustainable public/private partnerships that support young people and assist in building assessment measures to determine how West Virginia is fulfilling the Five Promises to its youth."

America's Promise -- The Alliance for Youth was founded after the Presidents' Summit for America's Future in 1997, where Presidents Bush, Carter, Clinton and Ford, with Nancy Reagan representing Ronald Reagan, challenged the nation to make children and youth a national priority. President George W. Bush reaffirmed that commitment in 2001.

For more information about America's Promise, visit www.americaspromise.org.

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