Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $2,000,000)
In partnership with land-grant universities (LGU) and the Cooperative Extension System, National 4-H Council (Council) will strengthen and expand mentoring programs for youth across America that address factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors. 4-H NMP incorporates positive youth development core principles to improve the well-being of youth 17 years old or younger and identified as at risk or high risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system, especially underserved populations. Services are targeted towards to African American and Latinx youth; American Indian and Alaska Native youth both on and off reservations; children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; youth with disabilities; youth impacted by opioids and drug addiction, youth in rural communities, and other underserved youth meeting criteria. Programs used are: 4-H Mentoring: Youth & Families with Promise (4-H YFP), 4-H Tech Wizards, 4-H Youth Futures: College Within Reach and 4-H Health Rocks! Mentoring. 4-H YFP is a prevention program targeting youth with below-average school performance, poor social skills and/or weak family bonds with one-on-one mentoring and family strengthening activities. 4-H Tech Wizards engages underserved youth in a group mentoring program that focuses on STEM education through mentoring and community service. 4-H Youth Futures: College Within Reach is a college and workforce preparedness program engaging youth in one-on-one mentoring and college visits providing classroom and campus orientations. 4-H Health Rocks! Mentoring improves decision-making skills and increases knowledge about risky behaviors like drugs and alcohol, driving outcomes in reduction of those behaviors. 4-H YFP is utilized by AI/AN sites to help youth develop a sense of community, instilling respect and pride for their heritage, and prioritizes incorporating aspects of culture into projects. Goals are to provide one-on-one and/or group mentoring services tailored to the needs of the identified at-risk, high risk or underserved youth targeted, and to implement enhanced practices that further align with research and evidence on effective mentoring approaches. Strategies for engagement include volunteer recruitment, family engagement, ongoing training for mentors, family nights, summer camps, 4-H Club meetings, and other structured activities. Performance measures include number of youth served, mentors trained/retained, and percentage of youth completing the program and exhibiting desired outcomes. Participation and outcome data are reported by sites.