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National Indian Youth Leadership Project: Project Venture

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $1,981,586)

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 2017 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in youth.

The National Indian Youth Leadership Project (NIYLP) will implement Project Venture, by providing group and peer mentoring services to primarily American Indian and other youth in 7 sites across 6 states. Project Venture is a culturally appropriate group and peer mentoring model developed over 27 years of work with American Indian youth. The program relies on American Indian traditional values to help youth develop positive self-concepts, effective social skills, a community service ethic, internal locus of control, resilience, healthy decision-making, and effective problem-solving skills. Project Venture utilizes a positive youth development approach that capitalizes on strengths rather than deficits. NIYLP sees youth as whole, complex beings in need of nurturing, inspiration, and opportunities to challenge themselves in meaningful and productive ways. Project Venture has several program components: (1) adventure-based, outdoor experiential activities, (2) service learning, and (3) peer mentor leadership. Project Venture is a “cascading” model of mentoring that provides several layers of multigenerational support and multiple opportunities for parent/caretaker and family engagement. The program goal is to reduce negative outcomes associated with juvenile delinquency and improve outcomes American Indian and other youth, including life skills, social emotional learning, and academic performance. Progress will be measured by adapting the Project Venture Implementation Score Card instrument to assess fidelity of subawardee programming and using Thrive Foundation for Youth’s rubric system to assess social/emotional development and the acquisition of life skills in the youth served by our program. NIYLP will not be conducting research. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 12, 2017