Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $2,000,000)
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. The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO, Inc.) proposes to conduct a multistate mentoring project called CLEO Legally Inspired College Ko-horts of Students 2.0 (CLICKS 2.0). The goal of CLICKS 2.0 is to improve outcomes for at-risk and high-risk youth in Maryland, Washington, DC, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Ohio who live in densely populated areas that face significant issues and challenges, such as crime/gang activity and an influx of illegal drugs. CLICKS 2.0 is proposing a mentoring program that incorporates the benchmarks and enhancements delineated in Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. It includes proven strategies that work and adds new strategies and components that reach beyond typical mentoring programs. These strategies include a law-related component that will provide legal professionals as role models/mentors, integrate law-related education into programming, provide an insider's look into legal careers, and investigate legal issues and their impact on society and individual rights. These important and valuable lessons will be delivered in a manner appealing to youth. CLICKS 2.0 will aid in increasing the quality of programs delivered to at-risk and high-risk youth by providing greater access and opportunities to e-mentors, who will provide supplemental input to traditional mentoring activities. Moreover, CLICKS 2.0 will leverage its partnerships with select national, state, and local bar associations, criminal justice entities, educational specialists, health-related organizations, corporations, and law firms to achieve these goals. Outcomes for Year 1 include a 50-percent increase in youth enrollment from the beginning of the grant period. By the end of the project, major deliverables will include an evidence-based, law-themed mentoring model that can be replicated and disseminated throughout the nation.