Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $2,369,232)
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 2019 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. 116-6, 133 Stat. 13, 115.
Camp Mariposa provides targeted mentoring services to youth (ages 917) at high risk for juvenile delinquent behavior and crime in 11 states. All of the youth have a family member with a substance use disorder and are at high risk for developing a substance use disorder of their own. Camp Mariposa utilizes a hybrid group and peer-based mentoring model to serve youth in both rural and urban locations across the nation through partnerships with highly respected local youth serving organizations. Camp Mariposa will prevent and reduce delinquency by delaying the onset of the first use of drugs and alcohol; preventing or reducing involvement in the juvenile justice system; connecting program participants with trained adult mentors; providing training and opportunities for teen alumni to serve as peer mentors to younger program participants; creating a positive peer support network for program participants; and providing opportunities for youth and families to participate in positive social activities. The primary vehicle for both group and peer mentoring will be the free weekend camps that are held every other month throughout the year. These weekends offer traditional camp activities enhanced with educational and therapeutic elements. They also provide a safe and supportive environment, allowing participants to connect with trained adult mentors and trained peer mentors. Additional activities are held for youth and mentors, alumni/junior counselors and the families of program participants in the months in between camp weekends. The FY 2019 award will expand the Camp Mariposa network from 11 to 13 states, adding new locations in Alaska and Texas. Several program enhancements will be implemented, including the creation of standardized mentor training modules; an additional evidence-based addiction-prevention curriculum; an additional evidence-based suicide prevention curriculum; and enhanced recognition of mentees and their families. All program participants will be evaluated throughout their participation in the program and for up to 1 year after program completion. CA/NCF