Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $681,818)
Covington Partners has collaborated for years with Covington Independent Public Schools (CIPS) to implement a Community Learning Center approach. The proposed project will be implemented in CIPS, located in the city of Covington, Kentucky. The target population has significant challenges that greatly impact their success including high poverty rates; high homeless rates; low educational attainment rates; and high food insecurity. Through this project, the Covington Mentoring Program will be able to expand the number of matches with an emphasis on currently underserved populations; provide additional training for mentors on understanding the signs and symptoms of substance use and misuse for those at risk of misusing opioids and other drugs; and strengthen the referral network and processes to support students and their families. The project includes three significant partnerships—CIPS, St. Elizabeth Physicians (substance use treatment organization partner) and Esperanza Latino Center of Northern Kentucky (culturally specific organizational partner). The overarching goal of the project is to increase the number of matches so that more students impacted by opioid and other drug misuse can experience improved outcomes through mentoring (from 155 to 250 per year). Objectives include 1) expanding the program’s capacity to provide high-quality services to youth and 2) developing innovative approaches to mentoring youth impacted by opioids and other drug misuse.