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.
Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. proposes to implement a multi-state mentoring program to serve a minimum of 900 at-risk and high-risk youth and their families over a three-year award period across 15 program sites in the rural and urban target communities of Atlantic County, New Jersey (2 school districts serving 2 program sites); Baldwin County, Alabama (1 school district serving 4 program sites); Chemung County, New York (1 school district serving 1 program site); Monroe County, Pennsylvania (1 school district serving 2 program sites); and Tarrant County, Texas (2 school districts serving 6 program sites). Youth and families of the proposed communities experience numerous risk factors and challenges including economic disadvantage, low commitment to education, substance use and abuse, and other community risk factors which can impede their ability to achieve their full potential without supports and services to assist in overcoming the barriers to success that currently limit positive youth development. The proposed project will: 1) Expand programming to serve a minimum of 900 at risk youth over a three-year award period in one-on-one mentoring with a trained Advocate (paid mentor); 2) Engage a minimum of 900 at risk youth over a three-year award period in group life skill training activities; and 3) Engage a minimum of 900 at risk youth and their parents/caregivers over a three-year award period in family engagement activities.
Program goals will be accomplished through individual mentoring, life skills training activities (i.e., Peaceful Alternatives to Tough Situations, Casey Life Skills, Brief Challenges and No Judgment Zones), and family engagement activities (i.e., Strengthening Families Program and Family Nights). Anticipated program outcomes will include, but are not limited to: developed social/emotional competencies, developed vocational/educational competencies, increased hopefulness for the future, increased community and professional supports and increased family stabilization. Primary partners for the proposed program will include the following school districts: Arlington Independent School District, Atlantic City School District, Baldwin County Board of Education, Elmira City School District, Fort Worth Independent School District, Pocono Mountain School District, and Pleasantville Public Schools. In addition, YAP will collaborate with an array of agencies, social service organizations, employers, educational institutions, and other youth-serving entities. CA/NCF