Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $1,250,000)
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 2016 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.
Knoxville Area Mentoring Initiative (KAMI) is a collaborative mentoring project built on the resources of the strongest mentoring organizations in East Tennessee. KAMIs goal is to strengthen the existing mentoring activities of partner mentoring organizations to improve behavior, attitudes, and outcomes for 1,250 at-risk and high-risk youth by connecting them with 670 trained mentors in 11 East Tennessee counties. KAMI will address the issues that impact juvenile delinquency in the Knoxville area. KAMIs objectives are to incorporate enhancements in recruitment, screening, training, and family engagement into current mentoring programs to reach youth and align with research on effective mentoring; measure the impact of KAMI mentoring programs on participants, provide feedback on best practices, and ensure development of new collaborative responses to serving target youth. KAMIs strategies include development of a public awareness campaign to identify potential mentors and mentees and match them with KAMI partners; institute a formalized screening matrix; aid partner organizations to identify mentees with high-risk behavior; provide structured mentor-mentee relationships; implement regular staff and mentor trainings; conduct collaborative Family Fun Days for mentors, mentees, and family members; and provide a closure program to honor participant completion. The formal collaborative of KAMI is led by Knoxville Leadership Foundation, through their program, Amachi Knoxville, and with partners - Emerald Youth Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, Joy of Music School, and Girls on the Run. Outputs and outcomes are to recruit 1,250 at-risk and/or underserved youth, ages 17 or younger; increase mentors recruited across all programs by 20%; provide training to partnership organizations following Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring across six core standards, including family enhancement; provide ongoing support and guidance for mentors through KAMI coordinators, mentoring resources, monthly conference calls; track impact on youth participants to share project outcomes with OJJDP and to strengthen the program in later years. CA/NCF