Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $1,000,000)
The Multi-State Mentoring Program provides funding to support established mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees in five or more states to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2014 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in underserved youth, including youth in high-risk environments, children of incarcerated parents and tribal youth. The program is comprised of three categories: Category 1 for organizations implementing one-on-one mentoring programs, Category 2 for Group mentoring programs and Category 3 for a combination of both one-on-one and group mentoring.
The Center for Neighborhood Enterprise will implement its Violence Free Zones (VFZ) mentoring program for high-need urban youth. The VFZ program is an evidence-based strategy effectively used by school administrators to reduce school violence, manage conflict, improve behavioral attitudes, and motivate students toward academic achievement; to date, it has been implemented at the middle- and high-school levels in thirty (30) public schools in multiple states. The schools are located in low-income, predominantly minority urban communities with high indices of underserved populations. This mentoring program focuses on high-need students, that is, the 10% of the students committing the greatest number of incidents in school and causing the most disruptions in school and in after-school and community programs. The program is designed to address behaviors that result in truancies, suspensions, violent and nonviolent incidents, involvement in drugs and gangs, and poor academic performance in public middle and high schools. The overarching goal of the VFZ Multi-State Mentoring program is to reduce truancies, suspensions, expulsions, violent and nonviolent incidents, and motivate academic performance among high-risk students in selected urban schools and neighborhoods utilizing one-on-one and group mentoring services to underserved youth under the age of 17. A secondary goal is to expand and enhance the capacity of the program to provide effective mentoring services to high-risk underserved youth under 17 years of age who are causing 90% of problems in the targeted schools. The proposed Violence-Free Zone (VFZ) Multi-state Mentoring Program will operate in Baltimore, Maryland; Hartford, Connecticut; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Richmond, Virginia; and Washington, District of Columbia and will target youth ages 6 through 17 who are at strong risk of school suspensions and expulsions; those coming into contact with the juvenile justice system or who have already come into contact with the juvenile justice system; and those who are at risk of dropping out of public schools. CA/NCF