iThrive Wake Recognized as 2017 Harvard Ash Center Bright Idea in Government

Bright Idea

January 18, 2017

Wake County, NC – The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized today iThrive Wake as part of the 2017 Bright Ideas in Government initiative. iThrive Wake is part of a cohort that includes programs from all levels of government — school districts, county, city, state, federal agencies, and tribal nations, as well as public-private partnerships — that represent the next horizon in government work to improve services, solve problems, and work on behalf of citizens.
iThrive Wake is a GIS map and mobile application created by Youth Thrive, dedicated to resources and support for young people, who in turn crowdsource the data for the app. This collaborative maps organizations and services for the school system’s population, allowing young people and their families to find resources closest to their community by specific category. Young people trained in GIS through 4H Youth Development expand on the map by identifying new points of reference, along with supporting data about how to access each point.
“These programs demonstrate that there are no prerequisites for doing the good work of governing” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in American Government Program at the Ash Center, “small towns and massive cities, huge federal agencies and local school districts, large budgets or no budgets at all — what makes government work best is the drive to do better, and this group proves that drive can be found anywhere.”
This is the fifth cohort recognized through the Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program. For consideration as a Bright Idea, programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching, have sufficient operational resources, and must be administered by one or more governmental entities; nonprofit, private sector, and union initiatives are eligible if operating in partnership with a governmental organization. Bright Ideas are showcased on the Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions.

Please visit the Government Innovators Network at for the full list of Bright Ideas programs, and for more information regarding the Innovations in American Government Awards.

For more information, contact:
Sara Carter
Youth Thrive Director of Operations

Daniel Harsha
Associate Director for Communications, Ash Center

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens. For more information, visit

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