Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $497,841)
Reflections Foundation’s Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program (PP) will provide group and individual mentoring combined with Social Emotional Learning (SEL), anti-violence, anti-truancy, anti-bullying, and career readiness programming for 150 girls African American and Latina girls, ages 12-17. PP, with age appropriate mentoring and curricula, will meet 2+ hours per week, 10 weeks per semester, with a monthly Saturday program, summer engagement, and parent engagement. Group mentoring sessions will be held weekly during a dedicated class period(s) in school and one Saturday per month. Through a combination of school and community-based mentoring with a streamlined focus on building soft skills, we address the social-emotional needs of girls, teach them non-violent conflict resolution and communication skills, and prepare them for early integration into the workforce. Goals: #1 Improve education outcomes for at-risk and high-risk girls of color; #2: Improve protective factors that reduce negative outcomes for at-risk and high-risk girls of color; #3: Enhance the Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program via the implementation of program enhancements recommended in MENTORS Elements of Effective Mentoring Practice. Reflections Foundation will mentor girls in Harvey, IL (35.6% poverty rate), Dolton, IL (28.6% poverty rate), and Riverdale, IL (28.7% poverty rate), and Altgeld Gardens (68% poverty rate) public housing community in Chicago IL. Harvey, population 25,685, is 68.9% African American and 24.4% Latino. Dolton, population 23,091, is 90.6% African American and 4.3% Latino. Riverdale, population 13,025, is 94.3% African American. Altgeld Gardens is home to approximately 8000 residents, 93% African Americans. :Girls of color PP mentoring program will target chronic truancy, absenteeism, delinquency, and/or behavior issues at school, and/or be justice system involved, and at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence, victims of sexual violence and sexual trafficking, and/or justice system involved. Many girls we will mentor will have incarcerated parents and be impacted by drug addiction in their families. Girls of color are especially vulnerable to childhood trauma, sexual violence, and sexual trafficking that divert them from the school into the juvenile justice system, sex industries, and sexual trafficking. These risks pose barriers for a girl’s future success in the workplace and higher education.