Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $500,000)
OJJDP seeks applicants to establish mentoring programs that offer a mixture of core services and engage youth with activities that enable them to practice healthy behaviors within a positive pro-social peer group. The target population should be youth at risk of gang activity, delinquency, and youth violence. This program should develop and strengthen protective factors against gang involvement and other problem behaviors. It can be based in a school or community setting. Successful applicants will include organizations, local school districts, and communities dealing with demonstrated gang problems who are a part of a communitywide strategy to combat gang activity. This initiative is authorized under the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 111-8.
Vista Community Clinic (VCC) will leverage its success providing youth development programming and local gang prevention resources in order to decrease the number of local youth in or at risk of becoming involved with gangs. Students will be referred to the program by school personnel based on known gang association or risk factors such as a family member in a gang. The curriculum will be based on evidence-based best practices: Effective Strategies for Providing Quality Youth Mentoring in Schools and Communities and The ABCs of School-Based Mentoring. Twenty (20) adults will be recruited from existing local mentoring programs, colleges and partnering agencies. Each adult will be assigned three junior mentors from local high schools (60 junior mentors). Each junior mentor will be assigned a mentee from an elementary or middle school that feeds into these high schools (total of 60 mentees). Mentoring programming will include youth development training to build community factors protective against gang involvement, structured activities for academic enrichment, and visits to local colleges and businesses for college and career development. VCC aims to: 1) decrease the number of local high school-age youth who become involved with gangs in the Vista and Oceanside Unified School Districts; 2) increase parental involvement in the lives of at-risk youth; and 3) improve the performance of the VCC youth mentoring program. Fulfillment of program objectives, including completion of program components and development of protective factors will be reviewed quarterly by staff, partners and community stakeholders. CA/NCF