Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $650,000)
The Knoxville Leadership Foundation (KLF) proposes to implement the Knoxville Area Mentoring Initiative (KAMI). The purpose is to provide resources, education, and a support network to stop the impact of addiction on Knox County youth in Tennessee. KAMI programming will encourage youth growth through participation in activities and through mentoring relationships with caring adults. KAMI will improve outcomes for youth impacted by opioids through education-based programming and supportive community mentoring, overall expanding knowledge about opioids, and providing all people involved with the tools to succeed.
Expected outcomes include: Increased knowledge about and concern for dangers of opioids and drug addiction; Improved refusal and assertiveness skills when offered opioids or drugs; Exhibit less antisocial behavior, and closer and healthier relationship with caregiver; Incorporate youth/family perspective into mentee, mentor, caregiver, and staff training; Exhibit less antisocial behavior, and closer and healthier relationship with caregiver; Increased trust, reliability, and connection between mentees and mentors; Limited access to opioids or other drugs in the home by parents or caregivers; Increased understanding by caregivers of how to protect youth from opioids and other types of drug misuse; and, Increased youth awareness of community norms that disapprove of opioid or drug misuse.
At-risk, underserved, and historically marginalized youth 17 years old or younger in Knoxville, Knox County, Anderson County, Blount County and Union County, Tennessee are the intended beneficiaries of the project. Subrecipients are Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (BBBSET), Joy of Music School (JoMS), and YMCA of East Tennessee, with decades of experience executing mentoring programs in their communities. KAMI also will partner with substance misuse treatment providers from Cherokee Health Systems (CHS) and prevention experts from The Metro Drug Coalition (MDC).