Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $981,008)
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 2017 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in youth.
The Massachusetts (MA) Success Mentors Collaborative is a partnership among three youth mentoring programs in Massachusetts. Lead by Family Services of the Merrimack Valley (FSMV) with the Holyoke Boys & Girls Clubs and Springfield School Volunteers, the MA Success Mentors Collaborative adopt practices of the evidence-based Success Mentors model to enhance recruitment, training, and monitoring and support activities to better serve targeted youth who are currently, or at risk of becoming, chronically absent. Recruitment enhancements include: close collaboration with each communitys school district to identify and recruit youth who are chronically absent, or exhibit behaviors that indicate high risk for chronic absenteeism, and collaboration with school districts to identify and recruit mentors who are school personnel, or closely tied to the school. Training enhancements include increased hours of orientation and training for mentees, mentors and family/caregivers to better prepare them for the rigors of enhanced match support, and increase each stakeholder's ability to support project goals of reducing absenteeism. Match monitoring and support involves significant enhancements in 1) the required amount of match contact (at least 3x per week), 2) the tools provided to mentors to monitor their mentees school attendance, communicate with teachers and leadership, and engage with family/caregivers, and 3) the integration of match activities and support into the school environment to highlight attendance and academic achievement throughout the match relationship. These practices will uniformly be implemented by all three Collaborative partners, with technical assistance and support provided by Mass Mentoring Partnership. In total, the Collaborative will serve 450 youth over the two year project period. These youth will be matched in 1:1 relationships with mentors. It is anticipated that a number of mentors will have more than one mentee, resulting in a total of 187 mentors being recruited, screened, training and matched during the project period. Data for all activities and required performance measures will be collected through several tools that allow mentors to enter data on match activities in real-time, school personnel to integrate relevant data (e.g., attendance) and for Program Coordinators at each site to track recruitment, training and support activities. The Project Director will monitor each partners use of these data collection tools and will analyze data in the aggregate at regular intervals, and prepare necessary reports for the OJJDP. CA/NCF