Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $3,000,000)
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 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 required to target American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth, and also highly encouraged to target their mentoring services to children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; youth impacted by opioids and drug addiction; youth in rural communities; and youth that experience bullying (including cyberbullying). Programs are also highly encouraged to incorporate youth and law enforcement engagement activities. This program is authorized by Pub. L. No. 116-93, 133 Stat. 2317, 2410.
National 4-H Council will strengthen and expand mentoring programs for youth across America that address factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors. The 4-H National Mentoring Program incorporates positive youth development core principles to improve the well-being of youth age 17 or younger and identified as at risk or high risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system, especially underserved populations. Services are targeted toward American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) youth on and off reservations, children of parents on active military duty, children of incarcerated parents, youth in rural communities, youth impacted by opioids, and other underserved youth meeting criteria. Programs used are 4-H Mentoring: Youth & Families with Promise (4-H YFP); 4-H Tech Wizards; 4-H Youth Futures: College Within Reach; and 4-H Health Rocks! Mentoring. 4-H YFP is a prevention program targeting youth with below-average school performance, poor social skills, and/or weak family bonds with one-on-one mentoring and family strengthening activities. 4-H Tech Wizards engages underserved youth in a group-mentoring program that focuses on STEM education through mentoring and community service. 4-H Youth Futures: College Within Reach is a college and workforce preparedness program engaging youth in one-on-one mentoring and college visits providing classroom and campus orientations. 4-H Health Rocks! Mentoring improves decision-making skills and increases knowledge about risky behaviors like drugs and alcohol, driving outcomes in reduction of those behaviors. 4-H YFP is used by AI/AN sites to help youth develop a sense of community, instilling respect and pride for their heritage, and prioritizes incorporating aspects of culture into projects. Goals are to provide one-on-one and/or group mentoring services tailored to the needs of the identified at-risk, high-risk, or underserved youth targeted, and to implement enhanced practices that further align with research and evidence on effective mentoring approaches. Strategies for engagement include volunteer recruitment, family engagement, ongoing training for mentors, family nights, summer camps, 4-H Club meetings, and other structured activities. CA/NCF