Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $26,249,560)
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.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is uniquely positioned to drive positive outcomes for young people in diverse communities throughout the country. Mentoring at Boys & Girls Clubs (MBGC) is a multicomponent mentoring program that will leverage BGCAs nationwide club network to link at-risk youth with caring mentors and positive youth development and skill-building prevention programs. In FY 2019, MBGC will increase services to system-involved youth by adding mentoring and skill-building programming for youth currently in juvenile detention. The target population is youth ages 617 experiencing risk factors in low-income communities in all 50 states. This population includes American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth living both on and off reservations, opioid-impacted youth, victimized youth, and youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Risk factors include poverty, low-performing schools, and community violence. All targeted youth face individual and/or environmental risk factors that put them at risk for opioid abuse. AI/AN youth experience especially high levels of risk. Youth who experience one or more risk factors are more likely to become involved in delinquency, substance abuse, and other problem behaviors. Project goals are to promote positive outcomes and reduce risk factors for five target groups: youth at risk, AI/AN youth, military-connected youth, youth at risk for participation in gangs, and detained youth. Project objectives include providing each youth with a mentor and engaging them in at least two prevention programs, including one evidence-based prevention program. Project activities include one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, and peer mentoring, delivered in the youth development environment of a Boys & Girls Club; curriculum-based prevention activities that build skills and character; and opioid and substance abuse prevention activities and practices. Mentors and mentees will be matched based on mutual interests and to address individual mentee needs and risk factors. Group matching events for law enforcement mentoring will be implemented, enabling officers, youth, and family members to meet and interact to inform matches. Mentees and mentors will each commit to meet for 12 hours a week for a minimum of 1 year. Anticipated youth outcomes include increases in social competence, school attendance, GPA, and positive family relationships; decreases in anti-social behavior and substance abuse (including opioid use); and increased resistance to involvement in gangs and delinquency. Progress will be measured using tracking reports, staff observations, and pre- and post-surveys. CA/NCF