Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
In partnership with land-grant universities (LGUs) and the Cooperative Extension System, National 4-H Council (Council) will strengthen and expand mentoring programs for underserved youth across America that address factors that can lead to delinquency or other problem behaviors. The 4-H National Mentoring Program incorporates positive youth development core principles to improve the well-being of youth who are at risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system, especially targeted and underserved populations. Services are targeted towards youth who demonstrate need but have not participated in mentoring services due to a shortage of trained and screened mentors; special physical or mental challenges; having an incarcerated parent; having a parent in the military, including a deployed parent; residing in a detention or correctional facility; being an American Indian or Native American tribal member; being LGBTQ+; or other analogous barriers to accessing mentors. 4-H's goals are to provide one-on-one and/or group mentoring services tailored to the needs of the identified youth, and to implement enhanced practices that align with research and evidence on effective mentoring approaches. Strategies for engagement include volunteer recruitment, family engagement, ongoing mentor training, family nights, summer camps, 4-H Club meetings, and other structured activities. Performance measures include the 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 each site.