U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Peer Group Connection: Expanding and Enhancing a Peer Group Mentoring and High School Transition Program to Serve At-Risk Youth

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $1,000,000)

The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 2 (Multi-State Mentoring Program) provides funding to support mentoring organizations in their efforts to strengthen and/or expand their existing mentoring activities within local chapters or sub-awardees (in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 states) 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 in underserved youth, including youth in high-risk environments. Programs are encouraged to target their mentoring services to American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth; children of parents on active military duty; children of incarcerated parents; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth; youth with disabilities; and youth in rural communities. This program is authorized by the FY15(OJJDP Ment. Oppor Yth) Pub. L. No. 113-235; 128 Stat. 2130, 2195.

The proposed project will expand and enhance an evidence-based high school transition and peer group mentoring program, known as Peer Group Connection (PGC). PGC will work with freshmen in safe and supportive groups led by older peer mentors, thereby contributing to a school environment that enables and inspires students to come to school ready to learn, achieve, and graduate prepared for the rigors of college and fulfilling careers. The project will reach over 6,000 students in 22 high schools serving 11 economically disadvantaged and underserved communities in 5 states. The project will provide combined one-on-one and group mentoring through a structured PGC course. The proposed project will enhance the mentoring services by: (1) providing new structured group mentoring activities designed specifically to extend the mentoring support over two years; and (2) assessing mentee risk and providing structured one-on-one mentoring activities to identify, high-risk 10th graders. PGC structured sessions will include a daily class for the peer mentors, weekly mentoring sessions with freshmen, and events that incorporate families and community members. Performance and progress data, such as attendance at mentoring sessions; number, duration, and attendance at trainings and technical assistance sessions etc. will be collected quarterly. School records will be used to obtain data on on-time promotion, discipline referrals, and student attendance. A self-report measure will be administered to students to obtain data on studentsÂ’ school connectedness; motivation to complete high school and post-secondary education; decision making skills; coping skills; and arrest record. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 27, 2015