January | February 2019

National Mentoring Summit Held in Washington, DC

Matt M. Dummermuth, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, addressed National Mentoring Summit attendees on January 31, 2019.Matt M. Dummermuth, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, addressed National Mentoring Summit attendees on January 31, 2019. "I am grateful for the work each of you is doing on behalf of the youth of your communities," he said. "I urge you to continue this important work, which is so vital to public safety and to the youth who represent our nation's future."
On January 30–February 1, 2019, youth mentoring professionals, researchers, philanthropic investors, and government and civic leaders gathered for the ninth annual National Mentoring Summit. The summit is held every January as part of National Mentoring Month, an annual campaign to promote youth mentoring.

Hosted by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR), the summit featured more than 80 workshops that showcased exemplary program models, collaborations, research, and innovations that have positive implications for strengthening the mentoring field. OJJDP participated in the summit as a presenting partner.

“At the Office of Justice Programs, we view mentoring as a vehicle for positive youth development, and as an effective prevention tool. Mentoring builds connections by enlisting skilled and dedicated volunteers to help youth face challenges such as isolation and disconnection,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt Dummermuth. “Our Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has a two-decade history of investing in mentoring programs, through research, operational support, and capacity building.”

The summit included five tracks that enabled attendees to focus on a specific area of interest: advocacy, philanthropic partnerships, culturally specific practices, nonprofit management, and researching and supporting the mentoring match. A session titled “Moving the Needle on Mentoring Program Effectiveness: Insights from Recent Research” described what has been learned across several scientifically rigorous evaluations, including OJJDP’s Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program. For more information on this OJJDP research, read the article “Research Central: OJJDP Study Examines Teaching and Advocacy Roles for Mentors.”

In fiscal year 2018, OJJDP awarded about $83 million to develop or enhance mentoring programs and services nationwide. Under its Mentoring Opportunities for Youth initiative, the Office awarded more than $77 million to organizations in 21 states.

Mentoring Grantees Network With OJJDP Staff, Build Connections During Orientation Session


OJJDP held an orientation session before the National Mentoring Summit to train new grantees on federal grant requirements and best-practice standards based on the guide Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. Participant feedback captured the grantees' eagerness to apply the information and resources shared at the meeting to better serve youth.


left quote I am the leader of an organization that has a long history of best practices for mentoring but, as a new grantee of an OJJJP award, I am humbled to be here and I'm walking away with so much new knowledge on everything from grants management to mentoring best practices. right quote

—Gillian Ballard, Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County, New York.

left quote On top of everything I learned here, it is a breath of fresh air to know I have peers—a group of brothers and sisters in the struggle—that are willing to put their best foot forward to make sure our young people and families are getting the best support and services possible.right quote

—Khalid McKenzie, Program Coordinator, Community Connections for Youth, New York.

left quote The meeting helped the National Recreation and Park Association brainstorm successful grants management strategies and how best to implement an effective training program for both our local agencies and their mentors who serve youth impacted by opioids. right quote

—Kellie May, Director of Health and Wellness, National Recreation and Park Association, Virginia.

OJJDP staff and grantees at an orientation for new recipients of OJJDP's mentoring grants.

Representatives of 36 mentoring organizations attended the January 29 session, including grantees receiving awards under OJJDP’s three new Mentoring Opportunities for Youth initiative categories: Mentoring Programs for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System, Mentoring Strategies for Youth Impacted by Opioids, and the Statewide and Regional Mentoring Initiative for Youth Impacted by Opioids. Pictured are OJJDP staff and session participants.




Read “San Antonio-Based Mentoring Program Exemplifies DOJ’s Commitment to American Youth.” The blog post describes Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt Dummermuth’s recent visit to an OJJDP-funded Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in Texas.

OJJDP’s Model Programs Guide contains information about evidence-based juvenile justice and youth prevention, intervention, and positive youth development programs. The guide offers information about 48 mentoring programs as well as a review of the research literature on mentoring. For more information about mentoring-related research, programmatic grants, training and technical assistance, and publications, visit the OJJDP website.

OJJDP’s National Mentoring Resource Center offers evidence-based reviews, comprehensive mentoring information and resources, and no-cost technical assistance. Last year alone, the center provided training and other support to 378 school-, community-, and faith-based mentoring programs that served more than 55,000 youth nationwide. Access the center’s Reflections on Research podcast series.