Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $496,491)
While research indicates that quality mentoring is a promising delinquency prevention technique, certain program characteristics and elements are moderators of its effectiveness. This solicitation invites eligible applicants to propose evidence-based enhancements that are among these moderators of program effectiveness. The three strategies include: (1) involving the parents in activities or services, (2) providing structured activities and programs for the mentoring matches, and (3) developing and implementing on-going training and support for mentors. This initiative is authorized by the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2010, P.L. 111-117.
Achievers for Life (AFL) is a well-established mentoring program in Jacksonville (Florida) currently serving about 600 sixth grade students exhibiting research-based indicators (poor school attendance and academic performance) which predict future delinquents and dropouts. Spearheaded by United Way of Northeast Florida, a key AFL strategy is to link each youth with a screened, trained mentor. Additional AFL services help families resolve crises, receive counseling services, and be stronger supports for their student. Mentors are screened, trained and supported as they meet weekly with youth at their school. Mentors help youth stay focused academically and develop critical life skills. Maintaining and supporting mentoring relationships as an AFL youth moves from 6th grade is the biggest challenge currently facing AFL. Each year a new 6th grade cohort enters a target middle school, meets AFL eligibility criteria and is in need of AFL services. OJJDP grant funds will be used for mentor support as AFL youth move into 7th grade and then to 8th grade, as appropriate, expanding the mentoring relationship to up to three years. CA/NCF