Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $1,250,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 5 (Statewide and Regional Mentoring Initiative for Youth Impacted by Opioids)supports a broad-based approach to building mentoring program capacity in targeted regions throughout the country to help youth impacted by opioids. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 115-141, 132 Stat. 348, 423.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is uniquely positioned to drive positive outcomes for youth impacted by opioids through its multicomponent mentoring program, Mentoring at Boys & Girls Clubs Opioid Prevention. This innovative program will link youth with caring mentors and skill-building prevention programs, while engaging them more deeply in their communities. The target population is 240 youth ages 617 living in rural, high opioid-use communities in a four-state region (Michigan/Ohio/Kentucky/West Virginia) and in New Hampshire. Subawards will be made to six Boys & Girls Club organizations serving these communities. The population includes at least 40 AI/AN youth living on and off reservations. Environmental factors that put youth at risk for opioid use include poverty, peer or community norms favorable toward substance use, accessibility of prescription opioids, and drug trafficking. Familial factors that put youth at risk for opioid use include family members who are currently using or have used opioids. Rural youth and AI/AN youth experience especially high levels of risk. Youth who experience one or more risk factors are more likely to become involved in substance abuse and other problem behaviors.
Project goals are to promote positive outcomes and reduce risk factors for targeted youth, and to increase family and community supports to address opioid and substance abuse. Project objectives include the provision of mentoring and prevention services to youth and the implementation of community engagement events, including mentor training, youth-led prevention campaigns, and mentor-mentee group matching events. Project activities include group and one-on-one mentoring delivered in the youth development environment of a Boys & Girls Club, evidence-based social-emotional learning activities, and curriculum-based prevention programs. A network-engaged mentoring component for teen mentees will be developed in project year 1 and implemented in project year 2. Program inputs include BGCAs Opioid & Substance Use Prevention guide, featuring 29 evidence-informed prevention practices that will be integrated into mentor training and mentor-mentee activities, and resources to support a part-time prevention specialist position at each involved club. Program outputs include an increase in the number of law enforcement mentors, resulting in part from group matching events that bring officers together with mentees and their family members. Anticipated youth outcomes include increases in social-emotional skills, school attendance, and positive family relationships; and decreases in substance abuse (including opioid use). Progress will be measured using tracking reports, staff observations, and pre- and post-surveys.