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OJJDP News @ a Glance

This issue highlights OJJDP funding for fiscal year 2021, participation by OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon and OJJDP grantees at the National Mentoring Summit, and tips for effective Child Abduction Response Teams.
Message From the Acting Administrator
Add alt tag to Acting Administrator’s headshot: OJJDP Acting Administrator Chyrl Jones

Mentoring Remains Central to OJJDP’s Focus and Mission

OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon
OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon addressed the 2022 National Mentoring Summit.

President Biden declared January 2022 National Mentoring Month, honoring those "who devote time, care, and energy to helping our young people thrive." All children have the right to follow and try to fulfill their dreams, the President said. "We all benefit from the support, wisdom, and nurturing of mentors who navigated the path before us."

Mentoring has long been a central focus for OJJDP programming. The Office awarded more than $1.2 billion in grants to mentoring organizations in fiscal years (FYs) 2008 to 2021, including $89.4 million for programs and services in FY 2021. OJJDP’s commitment to mentoring is always evident at the National Mentoring Summit, an annual event hosted by MENTOR

Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon addressed the 12th annual Summit, which was held remotely January 26–28. She called mentors vital for youth, particularly given the "formidable" challenges they face today—from rising violence to systemic inequities and the ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Mentors serve as a source of inspiration for young people who often need additional role models in their lives," Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Solomon said. "Mentors are also a bridge to self-sufficiency and self-confidence. Good mentors motivate by example, but they also give kids the tools and skills they need to navigate the twists and turns of life." 

"From 2017 to the first half of 2021, OJJDP-funded programs served about one million youth. And almost 150,000 new mentors were recruited over the last 18 months."

—OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon

The 2022 Summit featured more than 80 workshops centered on "Building Relationships, Advancing the Movement," including 12 by OJJDP grantees. MENTOR designed the Summit for a range of participants, including mentors, researchers, and youth, government, and civic leaders.

"OJJDP supports and invests in mentoring programs because mentoring works," said Acting Administrator Chyrl Jones. "A young person who connects with and looks up to a trustworthy adult is more likely to develop a strong sense of self, set goals, and make informed decisions. Children can't have too many people in their lives who care about them." 

The following lists participating OJJDP grantees and details the workshops they presented:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "Jobs and Mentors: How Youth Workforce Readiness Partnerships Create Key Mentoring Opportunities" emphasized mentoring opportunities in youth workforce readiness programs. "Mentoring Native Youth" focused on meaningful mentoring and ways to sustain programs during challenging times.
  • Center for Supportive Schools. "The Power of Peers: School-Based Peer Mentoring for Middle and High Schools" presented strategies for school-based peer mentoring programs, including adaptations to help navigate unprecedented challenges. Students in the Peer Group Connection program participated in this workshop.
  • Compeer of Greater Buffalo. In "Reigniting Their Joy—Reaching Beyond 1:1 Mentoring to Support Youth Mental Health," a youth panel joined Compeer programming staff to discuss ways to reinvigorate social activities that were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, to boost youth mental health and energize mentoring.
  • Friends of the Children. "Evidence-Based Tools To Strengthen Mentoring's Impact Through Family Engagement" explored caregiver and family engagement, its impact on youth outcomes, and evidence-based strategies for strengthening it.
  • Rogue Valley Mentoring. "Sustaining Resilient Mentor/Mentee Relationships: Proven Techniques for Successful Programs" emphasized the need to recognize a youth’s culture and voice.
  • Sea Research Foundation/Mystic Aquarium. "STEM Mentoring: Research, Practice, and Lessons Learned" examined the use of structured science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities to enhance programs and help youth achieve social, academic, and behavioral goals.
  • YouthBuild USA. "Mentoring for Sustainability: Fostering Leaders and Changemakers" addressed the mentoring of global "opportunity youth"—youth who are unemployed and not in school—emphasizing practices to help them navigate institutions and systems, and improve leadership skills.
  • Youth Collaboratory. “Equitable Practices for Mentoring Youth Impacted by Commercial Sexual Exploitation” addressed program empowerment, focusing on programs seeking to engage youth impacted by commercial sexual exploitation.


OJJDP's In Focus: Mentoring Youth fact sheet gives an overview of Office funding and technical assistance provided to youth mentoring programs. OJJDP's National Mentoring Resource Center provides no-cost technical assistance to youth mentoring programs. The center seeks to enhance program quality and effectiveness through evidence-based practices and by sharing practitioner innovations.

Date Created: February 2, 2022