Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $1,000,000)
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 2017 funding will address the factors that can lead to or serve as a catalyst for delinquency or other problem behaviors in youth.
The Colorado Metro Area Mentoring Initiative (CMAMI) will work to enhance the academic and personal lives of at least 440 youth with disabilities in the Denver and Aurora Metropolitan Area. The CMAMI will provide mentorship with a special focus on youth with disabilities, although youth without identified disabilities will also be served. CMAMI agencies are Aurora Mental Health Centers (AuMHC) Aurora Youth Options (AYO), Denver Urban Scholars (DUS), Goodwill Industries of Denver (Goodwill Denver) and the YESS Institute (YESS). CMAMI members will provide one-on-one, peer, and group mentoring to youth 17 years old and younger who attend one of the schools targeted by CMAMI members. Each program will review their recruitment strategies and share information on additional recruitment venues that will reach the target populations of youth with disabilities and their families. CMAMI will work with the Colorado Mentoring Collaborative to seek out technical expertise in recruitment and screening of mentors specifically interested in working with youth with disabilities. CMAMI will develop a screening process for youth that includes: youth report on their abilities and challenges that may impact their mentoring relationship; a request for school data to indicate whether or not a youth has an IEP in place, using appropriate FERPA guidelines and youth and family consent; and appropriate screening questions to help identify undiagnosed disability. Advisory and program delivery teams will develop training and provide overall support to mentors in taking an active teaching role within the boundaries of youth self-determination, respect and sensitivity for disability, culture and family. CA/ NCF