Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,250,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 5 (Statewide and Regional Mentoring Initiative for Youth Impacted by Opioids and Drug Addiction) supports a broad-based approach to building mentoring program capacity in targeted regions throughout the country to help youth impacted by opioids and drug addiction. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-93, 133 Stat. 2317, 2410.
The Utah 4-H Mentoring program, operated through Utah State University, will provide community one-on-one mentoring or afterschool group mentoring to opioid/drug addiction-impacted youth in low-income neighborhoods in Orem, Provo, Cedar City, and Roosevelt, Utah. In the program, 300 youth impacted by opioid and drug addiction will be matched with 186 to 200 mentors. Youth are in grades 4 to 8 at the initial match and come from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods that are at risk of juvenile delinquency, high-risk behaviors, and opioid or drug addiction. Youth can continue participation in the Utah 4-H Mentoring program through high school graduation (age 17). The purpose of this project is to decrease delinquent behavior, with an emphasis on preventing drug addiction and opioid use while increasing positive outcomes in youth by implementing systematic enhancements into the mentoring initiative. The goals and objectives to reach these outcomes use design enhancements to the evidence-based 4-H Mentoring Youth & Families with Promise Model Program. The four key design components are (1) one-on-one or group mentoring; (2) 4-H enrichment opportunities such as 4-H club projects, camps, contests, and events; (3) family engagement through monthly family strengthening workshops (Family Night Out) and annual 4-H family camp; and (4) monthly structured mentoring activities for mentoring participants. Project goals and expected outcomes are to decrease delinquent behavior, increase positive outcomes, and strengthen family bonds. CA/NCF