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 Knoxville Leadership Foundation (KLF) will implement its mentoring program through a formal collaborative called the Knoxville Area Mentoring Initiative (KAMI). It will feature KLF (Amachi Knoxville mentoring program; lead applicant), Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, Joy of Music School, YMCA of East Tennessee, and Girls on the Run of Greater Knoxville. KAMI will be supported by the substance abuse partners Cherokee Health Systems and The Metro Drug Coalition. Their collective experience will be used to provide quality mentoring opportunities and prevention education to at-risk youth up to age 17 who are affected by opioids in Knoxville, TN, and the surrounding counties. Participating youth will be selected based on current or previous use of opioids, high opioid use in the community, having a family member who is or has been engaged with opioids, and involvement in the foster care system due to a parent's drug use. KAMI aims to prevent future opioid use by providing caring adult mentors and opioid prevention education, and by connecting youth and their families to support services. KAMI will recruit 350 youth from within the target populations, recruit 100 mentors who will be screened and trained, and provide mentees with opioid abuse education. Prevention education will focus on understanding the dangers of opioids, refusal skills when offered drugs, and separating myth from fact. In addition, parents/guardians of mentees will receive resources on how to protect their homes from opioid misuse, how to talk to their children about drugs, and how their involvement can be a protective factor against opioid misuse. CA/NCF