Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)
Be A Mentor, Inc. (BAM) proposes to expand a mentoring program in Richmond, CA to serve youth in the Antelope Valley, and underserved area in northern Los Angeles County. This expansion would serve as a testing ground to scale the program to even more sites, serving potentially thousands of youth throughout California.
The purpose of the project is to expand mentoring services to at-risk and high-risk youth in an area where there are many risk factors and few resources for youth, with the goal of preventing youth from becoming involved in the juvenile justice system, or re-offending if they have already come into contact with the system. BAM will match youth aged 10-17 with a screened, trained adult mentor to spend time together, work on mentee-developed goals, assist with academics, plan for the future, and help build connections with supportive adults in multiple arenas of the youths’ lives. 1:1 mentoring activities will be supplemented with monthly match activities, on-going mentor training, family engagement opportunities, and workshops for mentees and mentors.
Primary activities include: Hiring and training staff; Developing referral mechanisms; Enhancing BAM’s existing mentor training to include topic-specific information on trauma, substance misuse, culturally-relevant services; Recruiting mentors and mentees to the program; Screening mentors and mentees; Working with families to obtain consent for participation; Training mentors, mentees, and families on program goals and expectations; Matching youth with mentors; Monitoring and providing support to matches; Recognizing program participants; Providing family support; Providing substance abuse treatment and prevention through La Familia; and providing match closure at the end of the match.
Expected outcomes are that BAM will expand the number of trained and screened mentor available to youth, and that participating youth will demonstrate increased social-emotional skills, improved academic performance, graduation rates, and resilience as a result of the program.
Service areas include Richmond, CA, in West Contra Costa County in the East Bay area, expanding into the Antelope Valley in north Los Angeles County.
Intended beneficiaries are youth aged 10-17 in the two target areas who are at-risk of high-risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system.
BAM will work with two subrecipients to implement the program. BAM will partner with the Richmond Police Activities League, with whom the organization has partnered for more than 10 years to provide mentoring services in Richmond, and the Lost Angels Children’s Project in the Antelope Valley.