Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $2,000,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 1 (National Mentoring Program) provides funding to support national mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees (in at least 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 required to target American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth, and are also highly encouraged to target their mentoring services to children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; youth with disabilities; youth impacted by opioids; and youth in rural communities. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 115-141, 132 Stat. 348, 423.
YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) proposes to strengthen its existing youth mentoring services delivered through the Reach & Rise program, which provides one-to-one mentoring to at-risk and high-risk youth. Y-USA provides quality mentoring by enhancing each benchmark of the Elements of Effective Practices with an intentional therapeutic approach. Unique to the Reach & Rise mentoring model is the newly expanded use of cognitive-behavioral mentoring strategies that address the youths specific needs, offer new interventions, and strengthen the family. With this approach, YMCA helps youth positively engage in society and reduces the rates of youth becoming involved in the juvenile justice system, dropping out of school, or being challenged by mental health and substance use. The program will engage 3,510 youth in 38 states and the Sioux YMCA by the end of the 3-year project.
The Reach & Rise mentoring program is a therapeutic mentoring approach designed in evidence-based mentoring practices and mental health modalities. The Reach & Rise mentor training equips volunteers with the competencies needed to understand the impacts of the target population and understand their role in intervening. To reduce involvement in the juvenile justice system, the program will focus on development of healthy relationships between the youth participants and their siblings, parents, and peers, while supporting academic success, civic engagement, and family support. Each program director tracks all activities and information regarding recruitment efforts, referrals, participation in trainings, and match meetings, and enters data into the Y-USA online system monthly. The national directors monitor to ensure all required Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 related outputs, outcomes, and performance measures are being met.
Reach & Rise serves youth living in both rural and urban areas, involved in the justice system or at risk of entering the system, presenting with a host of school-related risk factors, and struggling with emotional and mental health needs. Reach & Rise hopes to partner with YMCA of Alaska and the Sioux YMCA serving the Lakota tribe in South Dakota, and will continue to support partnerships with local tribes in New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and South Dakota to increase the number of AI/AN youth served.