Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $453,933)
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.
Mentor YOUth will provide structured opportunities for at-risk youth to develop long-term, positive relationships with community volunteers, as well as intensive individual and group services. The project will target youth, ages 11-18, at risk of gang involvement, delinquency, and violence who reside in Evanston's west and south side neighborhoods where there is a documented gang presence. The goal of this project is to prevent delinquency, violence, and school failure, and the short-term objectives include increasing homework completion, school and program attendance, and participation in a pro-social peer group while decreasing truancy and delinquent offenses. Y.O.U. will measure progress toward these goals through annual program evaluation utilizing data from the Evanston Police Department and the public schools, as well individual assessments using the Denver Youth Survey, the HARE Self-Esteem Scale, the Control and Meaning Scale, and the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument. Y.O.U. will serve a minimum of 45 youth over the course of the project and will recruit, train, and supervise a minimum of 45 volunteer mentors.