Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $310,898)
To address the needs of Utah's rapidly growing Latino population, county Extension offices in Iron and Sevier Counties propose to implement the Youth and Families with Promise program (YFP) -- a statewide mentoring program for at-risk youth. The program plans to combine the strengths provided through existing 4-H programs with a major effort to reach out to minority populations, while simultaneously building on the past success of the YFP program. In addition, the program includes a new goal related to assisting with homework and academic success among at-risk and minority youth.
The YFP mentoring program currently uses the well known community-based, 4-H, youth development program to assist in providing meaningful activities and skill building opportunities for both youth and mentors enrolled in the program. This link to the community provides a model for 4-H Mentoring as it demonstrates how both programs are strengthened and how involvement in 4-H can help ensure that mentoring opportunities for at risk youth will be available through meaningful relationships with volunteer leaders in group settings. The 'best practices' approach to mentoring (Mentoring USA) has already been used in Utah to successfully blend mentoring with traditional 4-H clubs, 4-H after-school, and other related activities to address youth development needs as has the Connect! curriculum. This combined effort has been successful in improving youth outcomes by increasing protective factors. CA/NCF