Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $1,750,000)
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.
Sea Research Foundation, Inc. (SRF) will expand and enhance its innovative group mentoring program, STEM Mentoring. The goal of STEM Mentoring is to positively impact the social development and academic achievement of at-risk and high-risk youth ages 610. By providing these youth with high-quality, STEM-based group mentoring experiences, STEM Mentoring encourages them to reduce high-risk behaviors, improve academic success indicators, and increase their knowledge of and interest in STEM careers. STEM Mentoring achieves this by connecting youth with mentors (4:1 mentee-to-mentor ratio) to engage in weekly multimedia STEM activities. SRF proposes to work with at least 50 affiliate sites in at least 30 states and territories, building on its current OJJDP-funded FY 2016 STEM Mentoring Initiative in 34 states. Over the two-year implementation period, sites will engage up to 3,600 mentees and 900 mentors, targeting youth who a) live in communities with high community risk factors, including poverty, unemployment, violent crime, and drug/gang involvement; b) attend schools that have a high percentage of students eligible for free and reduced price meals and high rates of absenteeism; c) are American Indian or Alaska Native; d) have one or more parents in the military; and/or e) live in rural communities.
To achieve the project goal and objectives, SRF will: 1) provide sites with training on the benchmarks from the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring including training on new activity sessions designed to enhance the mentor-mentee matching process, training on best practices for implementing STEM activities in a group mentoring setting, guidance on building community partnerships and engaging families, and ongoing technical assistance; 2) provide sites with six high-quality, structured STEM Mentoring curriculum modules, and provide associated STEM content training and technical assistance; and 3) measure the project impact. CA/NCF