Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $2,250,000)
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 (specifically opioid abuse), truancy, and other problem and high-risk behaviors. FY 2018 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; youth with disabilities; youth with opioid/substance abuse problems; and youth in rural communities. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub L. No. 115-141, 132 Stat. 348, 423.
The U.S. Soccer Foundation will expand its evidence- and sports-based group mentoring program, Soccer for Success, in 224 sites in 12 states. It will match 10,150 at-risk and high-risk youth with a trained coach-mentor at least three times a week for 75 to 90 minutes per session. The U.S. Soccer Foundation will partner with community-based organizations, such as Boys & Girls Clubs and Police Athletic Leagues, to engage youth from high-risk communities in formal group mentoring. The primary enhancement resulting from this funding will be a new social-emotional learning curriculum addressing self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision making, and overall relationship skills. Funding will also allow community jamborees to help recruit mentors and mentees, improve screening to meet the requirements of The Safe Sport Act, and improve Mentor Moments to focus on more intentional ways that mentors can connect with youth. The goals are to reduce juvenile delinquency, youth arrest, gang participation, truancy, and drug and alcohol consumption. The awardee will measure reductions in recidivism rates for youth participants and changes in behavior, such as improved self-esteem and engagement in school.