Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,500,000)
Mentoring youth creates positive impacts for both the mentees and the adults who mentor them. Youth with mentors have increased likelihood of going to college, better attitudes towards school, increased social and emotional development, and improved self-esteem. Through programs that target Black youth and youth of color, who live in areas steeped in poverty and have access to fewer opportunities, the National CARES Mentoring Movement (NCMM) has established a network of volunteers, affiliates, and supporters that brings caring adults and at-risk youth together.
NCMM will expand existing programs in nine geographic regions. All programs will be centered on the evidence-based curriculum A New Way Forward: Healing What’s Hurting Black America, which is peer-reviewed and has undergone revision regularly. Anchored by a 58 U.S.-city affiliate network, NCMM is the nation’s recognized leader in the recruitment, training and engagement of African American mentors, and the only organization in the U.S. providing holistic programming nationally to advance Black children, growing up in underserved communities.
To accomplish the proposed project, NCMM will continue to build on its established partnerships with local businesses, schools, juvenile justice centers, and faith-based institutions to bring caring and qualified mentors to the youth participants. Local affiliates will be strengthened through support from the NCMM national organization and local partnerships to help recruit, train, and retain adult mentors, who share the lived experiences of their mentees, and trained and licensed facilitators. Performance measures will be collected by administering pre- and post-surveys to both youth and mentors. This data will inform future enhancements in program delivery and engagement.
During the 36-month grant cycle, NCMM affiliates will work to recruit 839 adult mentors to support the youth in their communities. With the help of schools and juvenile justice facilities, NCMM will target 4,988 youth of color, with a primary focus on African American youth, ages 12 to 17, to bring our culturally relevant, healing services to provide youth with the emotional, social, and academic support they must have to become self-sustaining, successful contributors to their family, community and our society. The organization will grow the numbers of young people who participate by over 20% over the course of the grant, with a plan for sustaining those numbers long term.