Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,999,997)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 2 (Multi-State Mentoring Program) provides funding to support mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees (in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 states) to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse (specifically opioid abuse), truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2020 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 encouraged to target their mentoring services to children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; youth with opioid/substance abuse problems; youth that experience bullying (including cyberbullying); and youth in rural communities. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-93, 133 Stat. 2317, 2410.
The ASPIRA Association mentoring program will improve outcomes for middle and high school youth who are at risk or are involved in the juvenile justice system in high-poverty areas. ASPIRA will make subawards with ASPIRA associate offices in New York City; Newark, NJ; Chicago, IL; Wilmington, DE, and Carolina, Puerto Rico. ASPIRAs goal is to increase social competence, school attendance, and graduation rates among at-risk youth, and to reduce negative outcomes (delinquency, substance use, victimization, bullying, and gang involvement) through a comprehensive, research-based mentoring program. The program is designed to respond to the unique individual and group needs of the mentees in a way that will significantly increase positive outcomes. The mentoring program will include a series of enhancements that align with evidence-based research on effective mentoring. ASPIRA will target a highly diverse and broad group of youth who reside in census tracks with a poverty rate of 30 percent or higher. The program objectives are: (1) to conduct broad outreach to identify, recruit, and provide mentoring services to 1,500 low-income, at-risk middle and high school youth (500 per year) with 98 percent completing the program; (2) to develop individual plans for participants to respond to their unique needs for promoting positive outcomes based on an individual assessment; (3) to recruit, screen, train, and successfully match 288 adult mentors to be involved with youth for at least 1 year in structured mentoring experiences; (4) to provide mentoring and services that specifically address bullying and cyberbullying and its impact on youth; (5) to develop parent orientations and workshops through which 75 percent of parents will have increased their knowledge of adolescent development, parenting, and challenges facing at-risk youth, and will have increased their meaningful involvement with their children; and (6) the participating ASPIRA offices will have increased their capacity to deliver a high-quality mentoring program built on research-based program enhancements. CA/NCF