Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $2,000,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 2 (Multi-State Mentoring Program) provides funding to support mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees (in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 states) to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2016 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. Programs are encouraged to target their mentoring services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth; children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth; youth with disabilities; and youth in rural communities.
City Year, Inc. will implement a mentoring program in eight states across the country: Arkansas, California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington. City Year is an education focused non-profit organization that currently operates in 27 sites across 20 states. Student disengagement is a nationwide problem, and is a contributing factor of academic struggles and high dropout rates, particularly in high-poverty urban schools. City Year's model is designed to address this problem by recruiting diverse teams of AmeriCorps members to serve full time in schools to support student growth and development in three focus areas: attendance, behavior, and English Language Arts and math course performance. These focus areas are aligned with research-based risk factors associated with dropping out of school, as well as involvement in the juvenile justice system. AmeriCorps members work with students in grades 3-9, ages 8-15, during the school day, facilitating both one-on-one and small group mentoring sessions. These AmeriCorps members develop near-peer relationships that last a full academic year. AmeriCorps members are required to participate in a series of trainings prior to and during the course of their service to prepare them for their work in schools and ensure that they are able to support a diverse student population. The goal of this work is to increase student engagement by increasing academic performance, improving attendance rates, and increasing positive behavior to ultimately keep students in school and on-track for high school graduation. CA/NCF