The Urban League of Palm Beach County has been quietly working to improve the lives of youth in the area, particularly through implementing the National Urban League Initiative to Excel and Succeed (NULITES). The program seeks to give hope to young people by training them to get ready for life and equipping them with leadership skills.

The league will host its annual Youth Empowerment luncheon on Sept. 29 and it will be another occasion to celebrate not only what has been achieved locally but also the mark that the group’s NULITES arm has been making nationally.

The local program has won four national awards in 10 years, competing against counterparts in more than 130 other chapters across the U.S.

The league’s president, Mr. Patrick Franklin, is to be commended for guiding the organization along the path of success. He has acknowledged that it has been possible through support from companies that see the virtue of the backing such projects, including, more recently, $200,000 from Bank of America.

Such support is badly needed, especially in this season of financial turmoil, and more corporations and institutions should step up and help organizations such as the Urban League, whether it is the chapter in Palm Beach County, the chapter in Broward County or the chapter in Miami-Dade County – or all of them – to help prepare tomorrow’s leaders and give hope to the young at a time of great uncertainty.