Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,131,949)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 3 (Collaborative Mentoring Program) provides funding to support organizations that form a collaborative of at least three and as many as five mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring programs 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 for at-risk and high-risk youth.
Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) proposes to implement the Disability Mentoring Initiative, a collaborative mentoring partnership with the Viscardi Center in New York, MentorABILITY in Wyoming, and the Orangewood Foundation in California to improve outcomes for at-risk youth with disabilities through expanded, high quality, and evidence-based mentoring programming. Collaborators will implement program enhancements involving the provision of ongoing training and structured activities focused on career exploration and job readiness. Through targeted recruitment of mentees and mentors, the project will create at least 290 matches over three years. All youth will have a disability and be age 17 or younger, and the majority will have Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Emotional Disturbance, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, or disabilities resulting from criminal involvement/victimization. Staff will engage youth with histories of involvement with the juvenile justice system or truancy, absences or suspensions; low achievement in school; high alcohol/drug use; association with delinquent peers, or family history of criminal involvement/problem behavior. Programming will adhere to all standards of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. Staff will focus on specialized recruitment, mentor screening, trainings, matching, monitoring and progress toward goals through regular evaluations of mentoring relationships using evidence-based tools, including the Mentee Satisfaction Scale, the Arc Self-Determination Scale, and the Strength of Relationship Scale to scientifically gauge program satisfaction and mentees improvement. Mentoring programs participating in this collaboration will be enhanced through ongoing mentor and staff trainings focused on disability mentoring conducted on a monthly basis through PYDs National Center for Mentoring Youth with Disabilities and through the provision of structured activities focused on youth mentees' job skills and career-path related activities. CA/NCF