Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,999,960)
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.
The Southwest Key Youth Mentoring Program (YMP) will provide one-on-one and group mentoring services for youth ages 10 to 17 who are involved in the juvenile justice system or who are identified as at risk or high risk for involvement. The YMP will target youth in Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; San Jose, California; and Buffalo, New York. The proposed program goals are to provide quality mentoring services that (1) cultivate a comprehensive network of quality volunteers, (2) foster positive youth-adult relationships, and (3) target behavioral change. The proposed YMP will follow the six core standards of practice for mentoring, use evidence-based practices, engage families, and leverage community resources to increase the potential for an effective mentoring relationship. The mentoring relationship will last up to one year and provide consistent, weekly support for youth. Once matched, volunteer mentors receive extensive training and ongoing support. Emphasis will be placed on assessment of the following ongoing processes and enhancements to research-based practices: screen and match mentors and mentees based on a thorough survey of the interests, backgrounds, and strengths of each; train mentors and case managers; engage families through an orientation, regular communication, and referrals to community resources; and increase youth connectedness to family, school, community, and peers by providing pro-social and enrichment activities, case management, and collaborations with external partners. Program staff will collect mentee and mentor data throughout program participation in order to analyze performance measures, outputs, and outcomes. CA/NCF