Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $2,000,000)
The National Urban League (NUL) with a network of 90 affiliates in 36 states, and the District of Columbia, believes that educational opportunity is the most significant means and avenue for empowerment in communities of color and in historically underserved communities. Youth success to, through, and after high school is paramount to the NUL design.
NUL proposes to implement the next iteration of Project Ready Mentor (the Project), a multistate group mentoring program in 12 Urban League affiliate communities across 10 states. The proposed Project will operate in: Baltimore, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; Indianapolis, IN; Austin, TX; Elyria, OH; New Orleans, LA; Knoxville, TN; Greenville, SC; Buffalo, NY; and New York, NY.
The 12 City Project will help disconnected, vulnerable, court-involved, at-risk / promise urban youth (predominately African American and Latino(a) youth 11-17 years of age develop social and emotional skills, aptitudes and attitudes; foster anti-bullying and social connectedness; move from grade to grade on time; and graduate high school ready for college or work without the need for remediation by expanding the supply of well-trained mentors (using the Elements of Effective Mentoring Standards and Enhancements, raising awareness of the power of mentoring, effective family engagement and inclusion, fostering youth assets and well-being and creating, deepening and sustaining supportive mentor and mentee relationships directed towards reducing risky behavior and promoting social, emotional and academic development).
The Project Ready Mentor Project requires service to a minimum of 45 youth per affiliate per year in each of 12 cities, for a minimum total of 1,620 youth served over the 3-year grant period. Project Ready: Mentor provides 182 hours of opportunities, supports and services which include and extend those of the participant’s local anchor program via mentoring.
Project Ready: Mentor meets the Elements of Effective Practice Elements standard and furthermore uses both a relational approach, which aims to develop a sense of efficacy and a close, trusting emotional connection between the mentor and mentee via activities as well as an instrumental approach which primarily focuses on encouraging the mentee to grow and learn through goal-oriented activities found in the anchor positive youth development and college / career readiness program activities of Project Ready (including going on college visits together, working on projects such as building robots, service learning in the community, or developing a small business/entrepreneur plan together). No funds will be used to conduct research.