Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $681,818)
Eluna provides targeted mentoring services to youth ages 9 -17 in 13 states at high risk for using opioids and becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. All of the youth have a family member with a substance use disorder (SUD) and are at high-risk for developing a SUD of their own. Camp Mariposa® utilizes a group and peer mentoring model to serve youth in both rural and urban locations. Camp Mariposa will prevent and reduce delinquency by delaying onset of the first use of drugs and alcohol; preventing or reducing involvement in the juvenile justice system; connecting program participants with trained adult mentors; creating a positive peer support network for program participants; and providing opportunities for youth and families to participate in positive social activities. The primary vehicle for the group mentoring will be the free weekend camps offered six times a year for youth ages 9-12 and six additional camps for teens ages 13-17. These weekends offer traditional camp activities enhanced with evidence-based prevention curricula and activities that focus on boosting protective factors. Additional activities will be held for youth participants, their families, and the adult mentors in the months in between camp weekends. Eluna will expand the Camp Mariposa network to include a location in the upstate region of South Carolina. Eluna will partner with Clemson University Youth Learning Institute to operate Camp Mariposa South Carolina and provide mentoring and support services for youth in the upstate region of South Carolina. Eluna will also partner with Anderson Oconee Behavioral Services to provide specific opioid prevention education sessions at camp weekends as well as trainings to all mentors and parents/guardians on the signs and symptoms of opioid abuse. Eluna will also collaborate with United Way of Anderson County as part of this project. It is expected that 325 youth will be served through the proposed project. Two hundred fifty (250) of these youth will attend the camp weekends and be matched with a trained adult mentor in a group setting. The remaining 75 youth served will be the younger siblings and other younger family members who attend the additional group activities. It is expected that 100 trained adult mentors will support these youth at the camp weekends as well as activities in between camp weekends.