Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,500,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 3 (Collaborative Mentoring Program) provides funding to support organizations that form a collaborative of at least three and as many as five mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring programs to reduce juvenile delinquency, drug abuse, truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2015 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors for at-risk and high-risk youth. This program is authorized by the FY15(OJJDP Ment. Oppor Yth) Pub. L. No. 113-235; 128 Stat. 2130, 2195.
Be A Mentor, Bay Area Community Resources, and Richmond PAL have formed the East Bay Mentoring Collaborative (EBMC) that serves vulnerable youth in low-income, high-crime neighborhoods in the cities of Richmond, Oakland, and Berkeley, California. This grant will enable the EBMC to continue to connect high-risk youth in their communities with caring adult mentors and implement a continuation of the four key program elements: 1) a centralized process for mentor applications and screening and assessment of mentors and mentees, employing an online Mentor Management System, in order to base matches on alignment between mentee needs and interests and mentor interests, skills, and experiences; 2) a comprehensive 9-module mentor training program emphasizing positive youth development principles and practices; 3) one-on-one and small group (3-5 mentees per mentor) mentoring utilizing the Elements of Effective Practice document as a guide for ensuring high quality mentoring services, and 4) use of online mentoring logs, weekly debriefings, a blog, and mentor team activities to provide ongoing support to mentors. Building on the 230 mentor matches currently in place, the EBMC will serve over 450 additional youth who are at high risk of dropping out of high school and entering the juvenile justice system. They will increase the program's reach and impact by expanding the ages of kids served from 11-15 in 2012-2014 to 10-17; targeting foster youth in Alameda County through a new partnership with the Foster Youth Alliance; engaging parents and caregivers in a more deliberate and systematic way; and expanding the successful training program component to all three sites in the collaborative. They will also enhance their collaborative operational aspects by centralizing the mentor recruitment, screening, background clearance, and training functions, and the tracking of program participants, activities, and outcomes. This will enable the mentoring agencies to focus staff time on managing mentor-mentee relationship and achieve greater benefits for the young people served. The outcome goals will focus on enhancing mentees' engagement in and performance in school, developmental assets, and avoidance of gang involvement and delinquency, with specific, measureable objectives under each one and performance indicators they will use to track outcomes. CA/NCF