Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $1,900,000)
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(specifically opioid abuse), truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2018 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in underserved youth, including youth in high-risk environments. Programs are encouraged to target their mentoring services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth; children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; youth with disabilities; youth with opioid/substance abuse problems; and youth in rural communities. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub L. No. 115-141, 132 Stat. 348, 423.
Center for Supportive Schools (CSS) will provide peer group and one-on-one mentoring in 22 high schools in 11 high-need communities across 6 states (Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania) and the District of Columbia. The proposed project will address the problem behaviors associated with the profound weakness in the support provided to students during the 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. CSS will expand and enhance an evidence-based high school transition and peer group mentoring program, known as 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 prepared for the rigors of college and fulfilling careers. The proposed project will enhance the mentoring services provided through PGC by: (1) assessing mentee risk and providing structured one-on-one, adult-student mentoring activities to high-risk 10th and 11th graders; (2) integrating additional best practices in each of the six core standards of practice; and (3) enhancing practices for adult mentor recruitment, training, and matching. Goals include building the capacity of 22 high schools across 7 states to provide group mentoring services to underserved youth, enhancing mentoring services provided to underserved youth by layering a one-to-one mentoring component with a group mentoring program for youth who are at substantially elevated risk for delinquent behaviors and school dropout, and reducing delinquent behavior and improving youth outcomes through a school-based team and individual mentoring initiative for underserved youth. As a part of this project, CSS will recruit up to 600 peer mentors and 176 adult mentors to collectively serve 5,000 mentees in diverse, high-need communities over the grant period. CA/NCF