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Three San Diego businesses recently received recognition from one of the country’s highest ranking military officials.

Retired Army Gen. Colin Powell was in San Diego recently to recognize Sony Corp., Mission Federal Credit Union and Murphy’s Market for their track record in hiring area youths.

The three companies work with San Diego’s Promise, a local version of America’s Promise, a national organization founded by Powell. Its mission is to encourage businesses, groups and individuals to make an ongoing investment in, and commitment to, local youth.

“No one gets through life without help , if you’re secure today, chances are it’s because you had some helping hands when you were growing up,” Powell said.

“If we all pitch in, we can make the American dream live again for the next generation.”

Sony, Mission Federal and Murphy’s Market have all been singled out by local youth and adult volunteers for their willingness to hire and keep teen-agers.

Powell’s organization believes that if adults and business leaders believe in and mentor local youth, the students are less likely to get in trouble and will learn more responsibility, thereby becoming a more productive member of society.

“Our challenge is to create a San Diego tradition of commitment to our children,” said Sandra McBrayer, executive director of Children’s Initiative, which spearheads San Diego’s Promise.

“Cities throughout the country have this tradition. We want San Diego businesses to step up their support of all children , not just with money but with ideas and time,” she said.

Information about San Diego’s Promise is available by calling (858) 636-4123.

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