Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $1,254,523)
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 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 Center for Supportive Schools (CSS) will run a 3-year combined peer group and one-on-one mentoring project in 16 high schools in 10 communities across Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The project addresses the problem behaviors associated with the lack of support provided to students during their transition into high school. This transition period is often marked by increases in absenteeism, truancy, and discipline problems and declines in academic achievement and school attachment. This program expands and enhances an evidence-based high school transition and peer group mentoring program, Peer Group Connection (PGC). PGC immerses freshmen in safe and supportive groups led by older peer mentors, thereby contributing to a school environment that enables and inspires students to come to school ready to learn, achieve, and graduate. Proposed enhancements include: 1) assessing mentees and providing structured one-on-one, adult-student mentoring activities to 10th and 11th graders and 2) developing and implementing enhanced practices for mentor recruitment. Over the grant period, a total of 4,560 students will receive peer group mentoring in 9th grade through PGC and 256 students will receive one-on-one mentoring in 10th and 11th grades by a school-based adult as part of Achievement Mentoring (AM). The program will: increase the capacity of 16 high schools across 6 states to provide group mentoring services to youth as they transition from middle to high school through the implementation of PGC; enhance mentoring services provided to youth through the implementation of AM and PGC; and reduce delinquent behavior and improve youth outcomes through the implementation of school-based group and individual mentoring initiatives.