Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
Sea Research Foundation, Inc. (SRF) — a leader in providing mentoring and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enrichment as part of delinquency-prevention initiatives — seeks funding to expand and enhance its innovative group mentoring program, STEM Mentoring. SRF is applying under Category 3, as it currently has subawards at 47 affiliate organizations across 27 states and territories, and has a total of 201 affiliate sites in 43 states and territories.
The goal of STEM Mentoring is to positively impact the social development and academic achievement, and reduce the juvenile delinquency, of at-risk youth ages 6–10. By providing high-quality, STEM-based group mentoring experiences, STEM Mentoring reduces mentees’ high-risk behaviors, improves protective factor indicators, and increases their knowledge of and interest in STEM topics and careers. A secondary goal is to provide peer mentors ages 12–17 with support and training to help them build strong, positive relationships with their mentees.
STEM Mentoring will achieve these goals by connecting youth with mentors (4:1 mentee-to-mentor ratio) to engage in weekly STEM activities. SRF is applying for a 24-month award with three months of startup, an 18-month implementation period, and three months of closeout. SRF will make subawards to approximately 38 affiliate sites in at least 15 states and territories. Sites will engage up to 912 mentees and 228 mentors — including at least 60 peer mentors, targeting youth who: a) live in communities with risk factors such as high rates of poverty, violent crime, and/or drug addiction; b) attend schools with a high percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals and high rates of absenteeism; c) live in rural communities; d) are involved in reentry from the juvenile justice system; e) have one or more parents in the military; and/or f) are American Indian or Alaska Native.
To achieve the project goals and objectives, SRF will: 1) provide sites with training and technical assistance based on the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring; 2) provide sites with the STEM Mentoring curriculum and associated content training and technical assistance; and 3) measure the project impact.
Pre-and post-surveys for mentees and mentors, and surveys for Program Coordinators, will assess project progress. On a quarterly basis, SRF will use its online reporting system to collect data on social and academic improvement, involvement in juvenile delinquency, and mentor-mentee relationships. SRF will use this information to meet OJJDP’s performance measures requirements and to generate internal program improvements.