Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $2,500,000)
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.
The National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues, Inc. (NPAL), in partnership with its affiliate sites (chapters), seeks to expand and enhance its National PAL Mentoring Program to serve at-risk, justice system-involved, and victimized youth throughout the country. The overarching goal of this established program is to reduce risk factors for at-risk youth ages 817, such as victimization, delinquency, substance abuse, and bullying, while increasing protective factors such as self-esteem, commitment to school and community, open communication, and improved relations with law enforcement. The program will address the risk involved with school absenteeism, juvenile delinquency, youth impacted by opioids, and bullying. NPAL mentoring establishes relationships between youth and mentors by using a 7:1 mentee to mentor ratio and weekly sessions. These sessions will follow nationally recognized curricula that emphasize workforce development, STEM education, physical activity, self-advocacy, opioid abuse, bullying prevention, and personal responsibility. Attendees will participate in group mentoring at local PAL chapters across the country. The NPAL program will target underserved populations, including American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) youth, children from military families, children of incarcerated parents, youth affected by opioid abuse, and youth living in rural communities. NPAL will ensure that organizations with large Native youth populations and Tribal police departments have access to tailored trainings and technical support. National PAL will provide opioid abuse-specific trainings and curricula to all sites serving opioid-affected youth. NPAL will also seek to cultivate healthy mentee-mentor relationships in order to prevent bullying. This program will address the root causes of why youth engage in bullying. Youth will also develop an understanding of the long-term impacts of bullying. To ensure that all mentors are trained on how to approach bullying, NPAL will enter into a partnership with an expert technical assistance provider. In order to reach the project goal, National PAL will (1) serve 3,250 youth through subawards to local PAL chapters, (2) improve the quality of implementation through trainings and technical assistance, (3) continue to provide a diverse array of curricula, and (4) thoroughly track performance measures through an online system. Data collection will not constitute research for generalizable knowledge. CA/NCF