Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $23,500,000)
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 2017 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in youth.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is uniquely positioned to promote positive youth outcomes through high-quality comprehensive mentoring. Mentoring at Boys & Girls Clubs (MBGC) will leverage BGCA's nationwide network of clubs to link thousands of youth with caring mentors, positive youth development, and evidence-based prevention programs. The problem to be addressed concerns the risk factors faced by youth that threaten to derail their futures. The target population is youth ages 6 to 17 who are experiencing risk factors in 50 states. Project goals are to promote positive outcomes and reduce risk factors. Project objectives include providing each youth with a mentor and engaging them in two prevention programs tailored to specific risks they face. The MBGC strategy unites the powerful mentoring elements present in BGCA youth development with formal mentoring practices and evidence-based prevention program activities. Mentoring is site-based and provided by club staff, volunteers, and peers. A combination of one-on-one, group, and peer mentoring is provided. All services are culturally competent and responsive to communities served. Thousands of mentors will be recruited, with ongoing efforts to recruit minority male mentors. Anticipated youth outcomes include increases in social competence, school attendance, grade point average, and positive family relationships; decreases in antisocial behavior and substance abuse; and increased resistance to involvement in gangs and delinquency. Progress is measured using tracking reports, staff observations, and pre/post surveys. Major deliverables include three program enhancements that will increase alignment to the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, provide additional supports to Al/AN girls, and strengthen connections between youth and law enforcement.