Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $500,000)
The Mentoring for Youth: Underserved Populations Program provides funding to support the implementation and delivery of one-to-one, group, and peer mentoring services for underserved populations, including youth with disabilities; youth in foster care; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth. This program furthers the Department's mission by supporting mentoring programs to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors.
Metro United Methodist Urban Ministries will implement the I Am... mentoring program to provide mentoring services to 300 youth over a 36-month period. This mentoring program is located in the high poverty/high crime communities of San Diego, CA and Atlanta, GA. The programs mission is to promote the long-term well-being of youth with disabilities through a comprehensive mentor focused, family-centered, community-based approach that build support systems creating a venue for success and self-sufficiency. The name and mission statement reflect core tenets of the program: youth will choose success though a strong system of support from mentors, peers, family, professionals and community; these "supporters" all work together, encouraging youth to avoid justice system involvement; and develop and implement long-range plans for success based in attainable careers. The I Am.. mentoring program will build the capacity of 5 community agencies, increase awareness and improve community safety. Youth will participate in structured activities with mentors. Parents/caregivers and concerned community members will be supported and trained to enhance the youths prospective for success. The program will measure contact with the juvenile justice system, drug use, truancy and other high risk behaviors.