Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $3,680,000)
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 2019 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 by Pub L. No. 116-6, 133 Stat. 13, 115.
YouthBuild USAs YouthBuild Mentoring model program will aim to address the problem of exposure to violence for low-income at-risk youth. The goals of the initiative are to (1) improve outcomes for participating students in program engagement and completion, positive placement, and retention in placement; and (2) reduce rates of substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, truancy, program attrition, and trauma including victimization. YouthBuild USA has committed to the following objectives under the program. (1) Provide formal 1-to-1 or group mentoring for at least 3,320 additional at-risk youth within 48 YouthBuild programs across 38 states over the 3 year period. (2) Equip mentoring program staff members in at least 48 locations across the country to strengthen program effectiveness in specialized areas of mentoring engagement. YouthBuild Mentorings annual training at the National Mentoring Summit will cover a range of important mentoring issues such as mentoring for gang-exposed youth, peer mentoring, trauma-informed mentoring, and engagement with family and law enforcement in support of at-risk youth. Enhancements will also include new resources and training for mentoring program staff in substance abuse, peer mentoring, and other important areas. (3) Increase YouthBuild mentoring engagement within four programs serving rural, Al/AN, and other hard-to-reach at-risk youth. Four YouthBuild sites will be selected to participate in a pilot peer mentoring program that will expand mentoring through partnerships with local schools and/or community youth-serving organizations. (4) Train at least 50 YouthBuild graduates and/or YouthBuild students on best practices in youth mentoring, equipping them to be mentors. The peer mentoring pilot program, Rites of Passage, will increase opportunities for Youth Build graduates and students to develop as leaders and mentors. By implementing Rites of Passage within programs serving Al/AN youth, YouthBuild will be addressing the challenge of respectfully serving youth in a context where there is a lack of trust in services from outside the community. The peer mentoring approach will build on internal strengths of the community, matching older Al/AN youth with younger students. To ensure the success of program implementation, training, and technical assistance activities, YouthBuild will continue to use an already developed and thoroughly vetted data collection and tracking system to gather critical information about what is happening at each of the 48 participating sites. No portion of the proposed budget will be used to conduct research. CA/NCF