Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $3,000,000)
YouthBuild USA will scale the YouthBuild Peer Mentoring Model to address the impacts of exposure to high rates of violence among at-risk youth, while also maintaining the successful implementation of the YouthBuild Mentoring Model for opportunity youth (young people ages 16-17 who are not in school or employed) in YouthBuild programs in 38 U.S. states. The goals of this project are to 1) improve academic and/or attendance rates and healthy decision-making skills for youth ages 9-15 (including historically underserved communities such as AI/AN youth), 2) reduce rates of juvenile delinquency (including recidivism), truancy, substance misuse, program attrition, trauma and community violence, and bullying (including cyberbullying) among youth ages 9-17, and 3) improve outcomes for 16- and 17-year-old YouthBuild participants (including historically underserved communities such as AI/AN youth). YouthBuild USA has committed to the following objectives under this grant opportunity:
1. Expand YouthBuild Peer Mentoring by training students to employ best practices for peer mentoring. YouthBuild USA will complete the second phase of curriculum development for peer mentor training, specifically designed to empower YouthBuild participants to mentor other community youth ages 9-15.
2. Provide formal one-on-one and/or group mentoring services to at-risk youth. YouthBuild USA will extend its effective YouthBuild Mentoring Model for three new youth cohorts, extend technical assistance and training to implement the YouthBuild Mentoring and Peer Mentoring Models, and integrate formal mentoring into more YouthBuild programs.
3. Increase or maintain the number of screened and well-trained mentors and peer mentors by enhancing implementation of best practices to engage AI/AN youth on and off reservations, partner with family members of mentees, partner with law enforcement agencies, provide substance misuse intervention and prevention information, and intervene and/or prevent bullying.