Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $500,000)
Washoe County Department of Juvenile Services (WCJS) in Nevada proposes to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada (BBBSNN), a not-for-profit youth mentoring program, in a cross-system collaboration to provide mentoring services for the Power Mentoring Program. The advisory board for this Program, called the Think Big Think Tank, is comprised of public and private health, human service, planning, media and education providers ' including the Washoe County School District.
This partnership will increase the community's capacity to implement mentoring for an underserved population of at-risk children: siblings of youth offenders already known to juvenile services. These youth, whose natural inclination may be to emulate the delinquent behaviors of their older siblings, are susceptible to at-risk behaviors because a majority of them are living in poverty, in single-parent homes in neighborhoods with high rates of crime. A new mentor liaison position will be housed within Juvenile Services to directly access caregivers who have children in juvenile detention and encourage them to enroll in free mentoring services for other children in their homes (ages 5-17). Additional program staff, an intake specialist and mentoring coach, will be located at BBBSNN to enroll mentors and mentees, monitor and coach the matches and conduct pre/post tests. BBBSNN's evidenced-based components - weekly one-to-one mentoring, professionally trained mentors in community and school-based settings ' have been shown to measurably impact at-risk youth. The project anticipates that over the 3-year period, 75 percent of the 300 program participants will improve their academic performance, their relationships with family and peer, and/or avoid initiation of substance usage. CA/NCF