Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $1,315,923)
This program supports the enhancement or expansion of initiatives that will help communities develop or improve mentoring programs for at-risk or high-risk populations that are underserved due to location, shortage of mentors, special physical or mental challenges of the targeted population, or other analogous situations that the community identifies.
College Mentors for Kids is an innovative nonprofit organization with a mission of connecting college students with the most to give to kids that need it most. The organization and its sole program, the mentor program, were founded in 1995 by two undergraduates. The mentor program has been successfully replicated and scaled from two university-based pilot sites in 1996. It is currently established on 23 college and university campuses in five states (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and New York). College Mentors for Kids' target population is at-risk youth in grades 1-8 from low-income homes. The project purpose is to help at-risk youth achieve success in life by working with them in their most impressionable years. The goal of the grant is to improve youth behavior, prevent delinquency and increase educational engagement through evidence-based mentoring for at-risk youth. Under the OJJDP grant, they will implement an evidence-based one-on-one mentoring program that screens and matches college student mentors with youth; structures matches to last a year; and provides mentor training and support. Over the course of the 36-month grant period, College Mentors for Kids will expand its program to an additional 500 at-risk youth for a total of 2,000 youth being mentored at 31 sites in five states. Additionally, College Mentors for Kids will enhance the program through 1) ongoing training for mentors and volunteer program leaders; 2) providing additional mentor support; and 3) by providing structured activities.