Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $500,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 3 (Mentoring Programs for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System) provides funding to support youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a juvenile justice agency. The focus is to provide mentoring services to those youth screened as being low risk to public safety by a juvenile justice agency as part of an overall diversion approach with a goal of rehabilitation and accountability. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 115-141, 132 Stat. 348, 423.
Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (GIUMSC), an independent Goodwill member organization, proposes to implement the GoodGuides youth mentoring program in Greenville County, SC. GoodGuides will serve youth ages 17 and younger who are at risk and high risk for juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice system involvement. The program will address a myriad of risky conditions that frequently result in delinquency in youth ages 17 and younger. These high-risk conditions include failure in school due to poor grades or low attendance, dropping out of school, and having a lack of employment skills. Often, these conditions are a result of family violence, abuse, poverty, having a disability, or dealing with a parent or caretaker who is overseas in the military. Delinquency in youth can lead to drug or alcohol dependence or gang membership. The goal of GoodGuides is to help youth make better life choices by building career navigation skills while supporting school completion, preparation for postsecondary education, and productive work. The purpose of the program is to engage youth in structured, supportive relationships with trusted adult volunteer mentors in individual, group, or peer settings. Mentees explore career options with their mentor while building social competence and bonding with a positive role model.
GIUMSC has identified outputs and short- and long-term outcomes to measure progress toward meeting the programs goals. Key outputs include enrolling 150 youth in the program with at least 120 receiving services for at least 1 year and recruiting a minimum of 38 mentors. Eighty percent of GoodGuides youth receiving an average of 4 hours of mentoring and 2 hours of career awareness for 12 months will successfully complete program requirements. The GoodGuides youth mentoring program model builds on best practices and evidence-based approaches to mentoring, job readiness/training, and community partnerships. By expanding and enhancing the GoodGuides program through evidence-based approaches and effective practices for mentoring, job training, and community partnerships, GIUMSC will provide a solid model for connecting youth with success and avoiding juvenile delinquency or entering the juvenile justice system.