Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $280,964)
The Mentoring for Youth with Disabilities Initiative builds upon the foundation of evidence-based practices for effective mentoring and encourages communities to implement and enhance mentoring programs for youth with disabilities. These mentoring efforts will integrate best practices and proven principles into mentoring service models, including efforts to systematically recruit, train, and support mentors in their efforts to encourage individual youth to maximize personal strengths and to develop compensatory skills in specific areas of disability. This program authorized by the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, Pub. L. 112-110.
L.U.K. Crisis Center, Inc. (LUK) will provide mentoring to 240 youth (80 per year) ages 8-17 who have a learning, emotional, and/or behavioral disability that increases their risk of juvenile delinquency. Project staff will recruit, screen, and train mentors; match mentors with mentees; and closely monitor matches. Both site-based and community-based one-to-one mentoring models will be utilized. An adult volunteer mentor will spend at least one hour a week with a mentee for at least 24 months, participating in activities together such as arts and crafts, sports, and homework help at designated sites (the Boys & Girls Club of North Central Massachusetts or the Worcester Youth Center) or in the community. Mentor matches will also join together for monthly Celebrations. L.U.K. Crisis Center Inc. strives to achieve organizational outcomes including improving the administration of the program, and increasing partnerships in the community. By providing support for at-risk youth, the program's intended youth outcomes include: improving social competencies, academic engagement, and performance; and preventing or decreasing offenses. Individual youth progress will be measured using the Search Institute's Developmental Assets Profile administered at enrollment and every 3 months for the life of the match, grade reports, and offenses. CA/NCF