Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $2,000,000)
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 2016 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.
Girls Inc.s Bold Futures Mentoring Program will advance the 30-year mentoring history of Girls Inc., a national leader in empowering girls and young women to avoid violence, victimization, and sexual assault. Under FY 2016 funding, the program will target high-need, at-risk communities in 15 states. Girls Inc. will create a solid foundation for a dramatic, nationwide response throughout the network in the future. Over a 2-year period, at least 2,280 girls at 19 Girls Inc. affiliates will be involved in weekly group mentoring (at least 48 hours annually) plus weekly ancillary support activities (52 hours annually). Current trauma-informed program models (particularly Girls Inc. Project BOLD, a violence-prevention program) will be enhanced to incorporate high-risk girls ages 9 to 14 from low-income neighborhoods and with other personal and community-based risk factors.
The current group mentoring model will be enhanced to provide consistent, in-depth, and measurably effective group mentoring experiences designed to develop significantly better coping skills for girls, reduce participant risks, minimize entry/re-entry into the juvenile justice system, and increase family engagement. Recruitment, screening, training, matching, monitoring and support, and closure will all be delivered through enhanced procedures consistent with the new Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. Though not a formal research project, evaluation data will be gathered at each of the 19 sites and across the multiple states to determine program effectiveness - participation levels will be tracked, the group mentoring model and process will be documented, successful completion will be recorded, any delinquent conduct will be documented and discussed in the group mentoring sessions, and many positive outcome measures will be recorded.