Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $500,000)
Youth Mentoring Connection (YMC) and Youth Mentoring Network Collaborative (YMNC) will engage up to 100 youth ages 13-17 at risk of using, currently using, having used, and/or having family members using or who have used opioids in its Mentors Making Resiliency Real Mentoring program. The project will increase positive behaviors; prevent drug abuse; foster increased academic performance, career mentoring, and the number of youth engaged in postsecondary education after graduation; and support youth in receiving substance abuse treatment. The strategies include use of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring Model to address the service needs of the targeted youth. There will be a focus on improving mentor-supported academic achievement and increasing youth participation in positive youth development activities. There will also be a mentor focus on building resiliency among targeted youth, core reasons for problem behaviors, and engaging youth in activities that include self-advocacy and democracy-building activities. YMC has also partnered with the Youth Mentoring Action Network and will facilitate planning and direct services with the region's YMNC. The YMNC is made up of community-based mentoring organizations, service providers, public agencies, the Los Angeles Police Department, public health organizations, and drug treatment agencies. YMC hopes to reduce negative behaviors, truancy, the number of school dropouts, and delinquency. The program's goals are (1) a 90 percent high school graduation rate; (2) an 70 percent enrollment into postsecondary education; 70% of youths who reported drug use when entering the program will report a reduction in use after completing at least 9 months of mentoring; 10% increase in GPA across each cohort of youths who complete the program; 75% of enrolled youths will report an increase in life skills; 75% of enrolled youths will engage in leadership training; and 75% of enrolled youth will engage in communication training.