Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $3,000,000)
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 2017 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in youth.
In partnership with land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System, National 4-H Council (Council) will strengthen and expand mentoring programs that address factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in youth. The 4-H National Mentoring Program incorporates positive youth development core principles to improve the well-being of youth age 17 or younger and identified as at-risk or high risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system. Services are targeted to Al/AN youth both on and off reservations, children of parents on active military duty, children of incarcerated parents, youth with disabilities, youth in rural communities, and other youth who meet the criteria. Four Programs of Distinction are used: 4-H Mentoring: Youth & Families with Promise (4-H YFP), 4-H Tech Wizards, 4-H Living Interactive Family Education (4-H LIFE), and 4-H Youth Futures: College Within Reach (pilot). 4-H YFP is a prevention program targeting 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 science, technology, engineering, and math (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 and develop leadership and decision-making skills in children of incarcerated parents or those who are in the juvenile justice system. 4-H Youth Futures: College Within Reach is a college and workforce preparedness program engaging youth in one-on-one mentoring, college visits, and a college orientation conference. Goals are to provide one-on-one and/or group mentoring services tailored to the needs of the identified at-risk, high risk youth, and to implement enhanced practices that further align with research and evidence on effective mentoring approaches. Strategies for engaging mentees and mentors include volunteer recruitment, family engagement activities, 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 are reported by the sites.