Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,679,492)
The Colorado Partners in Youth Mentoring (CPYM) project is a collaborative effort among affiliates in the statewide Partners Mentoring Association (PMA), established in 1968. CPYM reach includes 6 affiliates covering eleven rural and urban counties in Colorado and include: 1) Delta Montrose Youth Services (dba DMYS), 2) Gunnison Valley Mentors (dba GVM), 3) Mesa County Partners (dba MCP), 4) Denver Youth Program (dba Metro Denver Partners), 5) Larimer County Partners (dba Partners) and 6) Partners in Routt County (dba Partners for Youth) - the lead agency for this project.
The purpose of this project is to serve Colorado youth from at-risk/high-risk environments through the statewide PMA one-to-one Community Based Mentoring (CBM) model which aims to build assets and protective factors in youth in order to reduce and prevent opioid and substance misuse, delinquency, or other problem behaviors. This project has an emphasis on supporting priority populations and partnering with local substance use/abuse treatment organizations to enhance services. The CBM model is supported through research in the field of prevention and youth development, including the Search Institute's Developmental Assets Framework and The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring.
From October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2026 this project will serve 1,513 (416 new and 1097 continuing) at-risk/high risk youth. As well, 1,513 adult mentors will be recruited, trained, matched with youth, and supported by case management during this period.
The target population for CPYM CBM programs are youth, boys and girls, ages 6-17, dealing with personal, academic and social issues. Youth have at least 2-6 risk factors when they are referred to programs, such as opioid/substance abuse, low income, academic struggles, victims of abuse/neglect, and mental health issues. Partners’ youth experience notably higher reported Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) scores than the general population.
The key component of the CPYM CBM mentoring programs is prevention. Utilizing adult mentors, coupled with on-going structured life skill activities, agencies help youth build protective factors to help mitigate the influence of risk factors. The specific objectives of the long-term, mentoring relationships is to; promote positive youth development; prevent alcohol/drug use; enhance academic performance; increase self-esteem; and prevent juvenile delinquency. Through on-going support and education, CPYM agencies are attempting to change attitudes, which is the first step in changing behavior, primarily as it relates to substance abuse, delinquency and violence.