Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $11,000,000)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) proposes to implement Partnering with Youth and Families to Strengthen Underserved Communities through BBBS Mentoring. Project activities include mentorship matches that will focus on buffering the risk factors exhibited by youth, such as an absence of trusting relationships, experienced racial injustice, exposure to violence or drug use, and poverty by nurturing each child’s deepest potential through the guidance of a trained and compassionate adult. Youth will engage in 12 months of evidence-based mentoring specifically designed to have the highest efficacy for their unique circumstances. Expected outcomes include significantly reducing the likelihood of youth delinquency in all forms, bolstering self-confidence, and preparing young people to be contributing citizens to society through a tailored supportive adult relationship. The intended beneficiaries include youth who are currently or have been involved in the juvenile justice system; those in communities with high rates of parental incarceration, community violence, drug markets, gang concentration, and failing schools; American Indian/Alaska Native youth; those in rural or persistent poverty communities; youth who have an incarcerated parent or a parent deployed in the military; youth with disabilities; LGBTQ youth; and those impacted by illicit substance use. BBBSA will administer subawards to approximately 90 affiliate agencies in at least 41 states based upon the results of a competitive application process. Selection will be determined based on a record of strong grant performance, high program quality and capacity, and satisfactory financial controls and internal processes. Once selected, BBBS agencies will perform screening that exceeds the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring benchmark standards to protect mentees while developing the most impactful mentoring match. Program enhancements to support continuous quality improvement include training and resources to advance youth and family partnerships, improvements to the systems available for technology-enhanced mentoring, and the introduction of a “Centers of Excellence” framework to establish best practices and provide coaching to new and growing agencies. To provide robust performance measurement, BBBSA will collect semi-annual data from affiliate organizations to track the number of mentors/mentees recruited and matched, mentor/mentee attrition rates, mentor training completion and retention, mentee behavior changes, mentee victimization, and general demographic data.