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.
The National Urban League (NUL) will implement Project Ready: Mentor, a one to one mentoring program, in Urban League affiliates in the following communities: Oklahoma City, OK; Charleston, SC; Hartford, CT; Akron, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; Lorain County, OH; Ft. Wayne, Indiana; and Chattanooga, TN. The project will help 40 underserved, disconnected and vulnerable 11-17 year old urban youth in each city to graduate high school ready for college or work without remediation by expanding the supply of well-trained mentors, creating and sustaining supportive relationships, and directing those relationships toward reducing risky behaviors. The project model includes a strong emphasis on Counselor-Advocates; utilization of strong existing/anchor programs and related staff; individualized development plans; meaningful parent engagement, development of relationships with caring adults; intentionally building resilience and wellness (physical, mental and emotional) and meaningful behavioral, career and education outcomes.
Project Ready: Mentor helps local communities develop youth supports via robust national and local partnerships, by expanding the number of well-trained mentors, intentionally addressing community violence and stressors, creating and sustaining meaningful and supportive relationships between caring adults and youth, and directing those relationships toward reducing behaviors that undermine youth well-being and increase educational and employment success. The program design focuses on the provision of asset-focused, high-quality, structured developmental youth opportunities and supports. The goal of the project is to ensure that vulnerable youth (attending under-resourced or underperforming schools, court-involved and other) ages 11-17 move to succeeding grades on time and without the need for remediation and graduate high school ready for college or work.
Short and long term outcomes include number of mentors retained in program; number of trained mentors demonstrating an increase in knowledge of program area and capacity to deliver high-quality mentoring (mentoring strategies and program services); number and percentage of youth who complete all program requirements/the program in a given year; number and percentage of youth who return for a second or third year of mentoring support; number of youth who do not offend or re-offend; number of youth who avoid high-risk behaviors and activities; and percentage increase in youth school attendance rate.