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Soccer for Success- An Evidence and Sports Base Group Mentoring Program for At-Risk, High-Risk and Underserved Youth

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $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. 116-6, 133 Stat. 13, 115.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s group-mentoring program, Soccer for Success (SfS), will expand programming in numerous sites, cities, and states. The sites were selected based on program partners’ existing work with populations at significant risk for delinquency. Youth primarily self-identify as Hispanic, Latino, and African American. SfS trains caring, local adults as coach-mentors for youth, and coach-mentors meet with their mentoring groups at least three times a week for 75 to 90 minutes per session. Through participation in SfS, youth will reduce their likelihood of juvenile delinquency and victimization, while improving their social-emotional wellbeing. SfS will partner with community-based organizations, like the Boys & Girls Clubs and Police Athletic Leagues, to engage youth from high-risk communities in formal mentorship. Partners choose to implement SfS because soccer serves as a hook to engage youth who would otherwise be uninterested in a traditional mentoring relationship. The FY 2019 award will enhance programming by providing partners with a Family & Community Engagement Curriculum and Training. The goal of this new training is to provide partner organizations with a framework for how they can leverage SfS to engage families and their communities, involving them as co-leads in the decision-making process to advance their shared goals. The foundation has a strong track record of collecting the performance data measures for this program. Its robust evaluation systems collect data that meet OJJDP reporting requirements and measure social and emotional changes in the program participants related to delinquency, attitudes toward school, and interactions with peers and elders. The foundation will work with youth-development experts to ensure that the program meets the standards of MENTOR’s current Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring and the latest research in the field. No research will be conducted with this funding. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 19, 2019