Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $500,000)
Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) proposes providing targeted mentoring as a solution for at-risk youth in five Wyoming counties—Carbon, Fremont, Laramie, Sweetwater, and Washakie. The target population are youth from the five Wyoming counties between the ages of 5 and 17 who are at-risk for delinquency or victimization, including those who may be involved in the Juvenile Justice System. Risk factors include youth living in single parent households, youth in poverty, youth in foster care, youth who have a mental health condition or are exhibiting behaviors associated with mental health conditions, youth who are victims of bullying, youth identified or perceived as bullies, and youth having contact with law enforcement. BBBS anticipates recruiting about 200 youth and community volunteers to serve as mentors using individually crafted recruitment plans from each proposed site, with 150 targeted mentoring matches being made. Virtual mentoring will be offered for those matches who are not yet comfortable with close contact during the pandemic. To enhance current program practices, BBS will provide pre-match mentor training in the areas of Positive Youth Development (PYD) and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). To help mentors practice these PYD and SEL skills, sites will offer quarterly structured mentoring activities. After targeted mentoring matches are initiated, mentors will also receive trainings in bullying/cyberbullying and two additional topics related to the specific needs of their mentee. Case managers will collaborate with partners within the communities served to develop these trainings and ensure that they meet the needs of the target population. Finally, BBBS will offer both pre and post-match trainings for parents to enhance family engagement. As a result of targeted mentoring, the enhanced trainings, and enhanced family engagement, BBBS anticipates that 75% of matched youth report a positive relationship with a caring adult; 80% of mentors report confidence in being a mentor; 80% of youth report that their mentors listen to them; 80% of youth report that their mentor helps them problem solve; 80% of parents report gains in knowledge, skills, or behaviors; 80% of youth will maintain or increase in at least two of the following areas on the Youth Outcomes Survey: emotional regulation, goal setting, life satisfaction, protective behaviors, or social competence; and 80% of youth will maintain or decrease in at least one of the following YOS area: Depressive symptoms, bullying behaviors, or risky behaviors.