Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $1,000,000)
The Multi-State Mentoring Program provides funding to support established mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees in five or more states to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2014 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in underserved youth, including youth in high-risk environments, children of incarcerated parents and tribal youth. The program is comprised of three categories: Category 1 for organizations implementing one-on-one mentoring programs, Category 2 for Group mentoring programs and Category 3 for a combination of both one-on-one and group mentoring.
Friends First, Inc. will implement the Students Teaching About Relationships and Success Peer Mentoring Network (STARS) model, which is designed to equip teens with knowledge, skills and values that enable them to make positive choices and avoid behaviors that may lead to their involvement with the juvenile justice system. The STARS curriculum also aligns with each of the Health Standards in the Common Core: Physical and Personal Wellness, Emotional and Social Wellness, and Prevention and Risk Management, in various lessons and activities. Through implementation and expansion of the tested STARS model, FRIENDS FIRST (FF) proposes to reduce juvenile delinquency across five states by: (1) empowering teens to make positive choices regarding tobacco/alcohol/drug use, violence, gang activity and high risk sexual activity; and (2) improving levels of school engagement (higher rates of passing to the next grade level, lower levels of truancy, improved academic performance and increased involvement in extracurricular activities).
The project's objectives include: 1) to provide evidence-based peer mentoring services to 930 at-risk youth in five states, increasing on-time grade promotion to 90% and lowering the incidence of negative behaviors (alcohol and substance use, truancy, peer aggression/school violence, gang activity, high risk sexual behavior) by 40%; 2) to screen, match, train and support 270 mentors through 88 hours of annual training, including ongoing and regular support; 3) to enhance current mentoring services through improving the interest determination/match process for matching mentors and mentees, resulting in increased satisfaction among mentees and mentors and 75% of matches lasting the full school year; 4) to enhance current mentoring services through improving parent/guardian engagement by communicating with 80% of parents/guardians through newsletters, emails and phone calls; enrolling 30% of parents/guardians in the Parenting of Active Teens training series; and providing parents/guardians with linguistically and culturally relevant training using the six session Parenting of Active Teens curriculum; and 5) to enhance current mentoring services through improving the closure process for all mentees and mentors (930 mentees and 270 mentors) through process improvements. CA/NCF