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 Institute for Educational Leadership, through its Center for Workforce Development, will enhance its Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP). RAMP is a high-tech, career-focused mentoring program for youth with disabilities involved in or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system. RAMP sites recruit mentors from new and existing partners and community connections and enroll mentees from within their own youth programs and those referred by community-based partners, local schools, and youth word of mouth. Youth with disabilities, ages 12-17, are recruited with a special emphasis on those already experiencing truancy, discipline issues, arrest, incarceration, and other risk factors. RAMP's focus on careers is designed to reduce offense rates, increase secondary school completion, and increase social and work readiness skills. Based in part on the High School/High Tech model, which helps high school-age youth with disabilities transition to adulthood, RAMP engages youth in exploring their career interests, with an emphasis on high-tech, high-growth careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This project will enhance the work of existing RAMP sites by: strengthening the youth-centered developmental approach, incorporating advocacy and teaching roles for mentors, and expanding community partnerships. Sites will also expand the family engagement efforts started during the previous enhancement period. RAMP sites will receive curricula, tools and materials, technical assistance, administrative support, and leadership from the grantee organization, which is a national technical assistance provider with experience developing research-based materials, assisting state and local organizations, and implementing multi-site grants. RAMP's developmentally focused Individualized Mentoring Plans will more intentionally engage mentors and mentees in shared experiences tailored to youths interests, a practice found to increase relationship quality. Continued expansion of family engagement will increase youth participation and outcomes by ensuring family buy-in and promoting positive youth-parent relationships. Ongoing mentor training and support, including for advocacy and teaching roles, will strengthen mentors' competence, confidence, and comfort in supporting youth. CA/NCF