Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,200,000)
Compeer, Inc., an international nonprofit agency providing mentoring support to individuals with mental illness through 46 affiliate agencies in seven states and four countries, proposes to expand its evidence-based mentoring model for youth in approximately 15 communities nationwide, and increase availability of Compeer Youth Mentoring services from five to seven states. Through the expansion, Compeer Youth Mentoring will maintain 500 existing matches and connect an additional 1,000 youth who are at high risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system largely due to mental illness and related behaviors, with a mentor in a 1:1 friendship. Up to 2,500 additional youth awaiting matches will be served through social engagement activities. Youth with mental illness go unserved by other mentoring programs throughout the nation, because their complex needs cannot be met by other agencies providing mentoring to youth, such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters or Boys & Girls Clubs. The Compeer Mentoring model has been identified as an evidence-based mentoring model through SAMHSA. Compeer youth mentor matches last, on average, 3.5 years, and mentors spend an average of 7.4 hours per month with youth, far exceeding best practices targets.
All US Compeer affiliate agencies have been invited to participate in a Request for Proposals process to receive a sub-award under which a youth mentoring program will be implemented or expanded. To serve 1,500 youth, Compeer anticipates supporting affiliates to maintain 500 existing volunteers and recruit approximately 1,000 new mentors to serve 1,000 youth who are not currently served in a 1:1 mentoring program. Compeer Inc. will provide training and support to affiliates as they implement the program in their communities, and has developed a comprehensive support model to enable these affiliates to establish and grow their youth mentoring programs. Affiliates will provide regular feedback to Compeer Inc. regarding mentor recruitment and engagement, the number of matches made and supported, and other data needed to address the performance measures required by OJJDP.