Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $1,500,000)
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 2017 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in youth.
The STARS Peer Mentoring Partnership provides the STARS Peer Mentoring Program to youth in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin. The goal of this program is to effectively use mentoring best practices to reduce the risk of juvenile delinquency by (1) empowering youth to make positive choices regarding alcohol, tobacco, and drug use; violence; gang activity; and high-risk sexual activity and (2) fortifying youth's protective factors through positive peer relationships and increased school engagement. To accomplish this goal, the STARS Peer Mentoring Partnership provides best practice peer mentoring services to 1,860 (620/year) youth mentees and 465 (155/year) peer mentors. Because of their participation in programming, at least 10 percent of mentees will demonstrate an increased understanding of the benefits of avoiding high-risk behaviors, an increase in school engagement, and an increase in positive peer relationships. After formal trainings, 90 percent of mentors will score 90 percent or better on a measure of knowledge of mentoring best practices and/or the training topic. Youth are provided with interactive workshops with their local law enforcement agencies in order to improve relationships between youth, the local police force, and the community. In order to promote family engagement, several family and community training events will be held each year, reaching at least 1,290 (430/year) parents, guardians, and community members.