Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast (BGCGC) is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. BGCGC serves over 5,500 youth annually from age 4 through 18 among two counties on the Mississippi Coast and they have six Clubs sites in which they provide out of school care and have a full day summer program. Violence on the Mississippi Coast has become a growing concern and they have been working with a multi-disciplinary team on organizations to curb the escalating level of violence in the community. With the funds provided by OJJDP through the Enhancing School Capacity to Address Youth Violence Grant, BGCGC will implement the ImPact School-Based Mentoring Program (ImPact). ImPact is a whole-child model designed to work closely with schools to implement strategies and services that integrate the school, community, and family resources. ImPact uses the Multidisciplinary Team to provide resources, contribute to the planning, assessment, and problem solving of the ImPact model. ImPact has a full-time Program Director and they will place 6 Program Coordinators at the school. Together this team is responsible for planning, training, implementation, evaluation, and reporting of the program. ImPact’s success comes from three basic frameworks through which mentoring takes place, traditional one-on-one, peer, and group mentoring. The youth participants are assigned to a “Pact Team” comprised of the mentors, mentees, parents, school personnel, the ImPact team, and the Multidisciplinary Team. The program builds connectedness and accountability among all participants to suppress youth community violence. We recruit at-risk youth who have been a victim of or in danger of participating in youth violence. Youth complete an intake form that collects data on academic information, demographics, and family structure, which allows for the mentor to meet them where they are to ensure the highest potential of success in ImPact. ImPact will utilize the resources in the community to support the youth participants in their goals and objectives. ImPact supports a decrease in disruptive behaviors in schools, decreases the number of discipline referrals, and positively impacts youths’ behaviors outside of schools. Youth participants build strong resilience skills against the stresses in the community and will have a plan in place for their future after graduating high school.