Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $494,229)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 3 (Mentoring Programs for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System) provides funding to support youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a juvenile justice agency. The focus is to provide mentoring services to those youth screened as being low risk to public safety by a juvenile justice agency as part of an overall diversion approach with a goal of rehabilitation and accountability. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-93, 133 Stat. 2317, 2410.
Through a collaborative between Youth Emergency Services, Inc. and juvenile justice agencies, 220 rural youth will be served in northeast Wyoming. The youth will be screened as being low risk to public safety, struggling with substance abuse, and/or having been victimized. The purpose of the program is to improve academic performance and reduce school dropout rates and negative outcomes such as juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and victimization. These goals will be accomplished by providing quality mentoring services tailored to the needs of Wyoming at-risk youth and by providing research and evidence-based effective mentoring practices. To fulfill the projects purpose and to meet objectives, the collaborative will provide community-based and site/school-based mentoring models that involve a one-on-one match with an adult mentor and peer mentoring. Mentoring models will embrace positive youth development and "voice and choice" approaches, and encourage voluntarism. Objectives are to (1) provide mentoring services tailored to the needs of Wyoming at-risk and system-involved youth and (2) develop and implement program design enhancements that further align with research and evidence on effective mentoring approaches. No funds will be used to conduct research. CA/NCF