Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $7,000,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 1 (National Mentoring Program) provides funding to support national mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees (in at least 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 required to target American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth, and are also highly encouraged to target their mentoring services to 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.
In partnership with land-grant universities (LGU) and the Cooperative Extension System, National 4-H Council (Council) will strengthen and expand mentoring programs for youth across America that address factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in underserved youth. The 4-H National Mentoring Program incorporates positive youth development core principles to improve the well-being of youth 17 years old or younger and identified as at risk or high risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system, especially underserved populations. Services are targeted towards American Indian and Alaska Native youth both on and off the reservations; children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth; youth with disabilities; youth in rural communities; and other underserved youth. Three Programs of Distinction will be used: 4-H Mentoring: Youth & Families with Promise (4-H YFP), 4-H Tech Wizards, and 4-H Living Interactive Family Education (4-H LIFE). 4-H YFP is a prevention program that targets youth with below-average school performance, poor social skills and/or weak family bonds with one-on-one mentoring and family strengthening activities. 4-H Tech Wizards engages underserved youth in a group mentoring program that focuses on STEM education through mentoring and community service. 4-H LIFE uses parenting classes, 4-H club meetings, and group mentoring to strengthen parent/child bonds, develop leadership and decision making skills in children of incarcerated parents or in the juvenile justice system. Goals are to provide one-on-one and/or group mentoring services tailored to the needs of the identified at-risk, high risk or underserved youth targeted, and to implement enhanced practices that further align with research and evidence on effective mentoring approaches to improve outcomes by establishing and strengthening collaborative community approaches. Strategies for engaging mentees and mentors include volunteer recruitment, parent involvement, ongoing training for mentors, family nights, summer camps, 4-H club meetings, and other structured activities. Performance measures include number of youth served, mentors trained/retained, and percentage of youth completing the program and exhibiting the desired outcomes. Participation and outcome data is reported by sites. Council also uses the "Common Measures" evaluation system which enables measurement of 4-H positive youth development outcomes over time. CA/NCF