U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation - Badges for Baseball Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $2,230,000)

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. The grantee will provide sub-awards to The grantee will work with each program 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 Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) will use research-aligned practices to connect at-risk youth with caring, adult mentors in small mentoring groups across the nation. The target population is youth ages 9–14 in communities with multiple risk factors (poverty, drugs, gangs) for juvenile delinquency and other circumstantial obstacles that prevent kids from successfully transitioning to adulthood. Strained relationships between law enforcement and community members—as seen in Baltimore and other U.S. cities—undermine efforts to build safer communities. Badges for Baseball (Badges) will break down these barriers by pairing at-risk/system-involved youth with civilian, law enforcement, public safety, and military mentors who participate in structured afterschool programs that help youth build life skills, stay in school, and make positive behavioral decisions propelling them to success in life. By engaging law enforcement officers as mentors, Badges will create an environment for officers and at-risk youth to build healthy, strong relationships that promote safer communities. CRSF will use four elements in their approach: (1) structured mentoring activities for mentors and youth, (2) enhanced mentor training (in-person and web-based) on research-aligned practices, (3) communitywide partnerships and familial engagement around Badges, and (4) improved attitudes between at-risk youth and law enforcement mentors. CRSF builds local, state, and national partnerships to ensure program success. Significant collaborations include those with the U.S. Marshals Service, Baltimore Police Department, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Mississippi Department of Human Services, Washington/Baltimore HIDTA, Maryland State Police, and many others. Coupled with CRSF leadership, these collaborations will provide sustained and sometimes expanded programming in key neighborhoods nationwide. CA/NCF

Date Created: October 22, 2020