Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $500,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 4 (Project Sites and Mentoring Strategies for Youth Impacted by Opioids) supports youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a public or private substance abuse treatment agency. The focus of this category is to provide mentoring services as a part of a prevention, treatment and supportive approach for those youth impacted by opioids. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-6, 133 Stat. 13, 115.
The Youth Mentoring Connection (YMC) and Youth Mentoring Network Collaborative (YMNC) will engage 150 youth ages 14-17 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 Eisenhower Quantum Opportunities Best Practice 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 95 percent high school graduation rate; (2) an 80 percent enrollment into postsecondary education; (3) a 10 percent increased cohort GPA; (4) 95 percent of mentees completing at least 100 hours of computer learning; (5) 100 percent of mentees completing 100-200 hours of youth communication training; (6) 95 percent of cohort pledging to "be resilient"; (7) a 75 percent reduction in drug use; (8) a 20 percent reduction in chronic absenteeism; (9) 85 percent of mentees completing at least 100 hours of leadership activities; and (10) 85 percent of mentees completing 100-200 hours of life skills training.