Fattah Announces $62 Million in Grants to Assist Youth

Oct 03, 2011, 15:45 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and other related agencies, today announces over $62 million in grants for organizations serving America's youth and their families.  Working to improve the life chances and circumstances of children has been a top priority for Fattah as a member of the Appropriations Committee.

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"These grants are an opportunity for us to invest in the future of our young people," Fattah said.  "All of these worthwhile programs are committed to bringing out the best in our youth and providing them the opportunity to see bright futures as constructive citizens.  We know that the young people of Philadelphia, and in neighborhoods across the country, have so much to offer.  It is our responsibility to seek that out and lead them on a path of responsibility, integrity and self-respect.  These much needed funds will help to make that possible and I am honored to have helped to bring them here."

Big Brothers, Big Sisters – headquartered in Philadelphia – received an $11.3 million grant to provide mentoring services to 6,000 newly identified "at risk" and "high risk" youth in 40 new communities around the country. Statistics show that youth currently served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are 70% less likely to initiate drug use, 33% less likely to exhibit violence, and 50% less likely to skip school than their peers.  The project aims to further reduce juvenile delinquency, alcohol and drug use, truancy, and other problem behaviors nationally.

"We believe these awards reinforce the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP) commitment to outcomes-based mentoring and the historic contribution Big Brothers Big Sisters has made and continues to make to delinquency prevention and intervention.  We are delighted that Congressman Fattah and his colleagues continue to value our mentoring program's pivotal place in youth development," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO Karen J. Mathis.  "We hold ourselves accountable for the proven youth outcomes that are unique to our mentoring network -- educational achievement; avoidance of risky behaviors and delinquency; and improved self-confidence and higher aspirations."

The Amachi Multi-State Project also headquartered in Philadelphia was awarded $3 million to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for youth at-risk of academic failure, truancy, or adjudication. The Amachi programs will enhance and expand mentoring services to underserved populations, specifically targeting children of military families and those impacted by incarceration. Over 8,500 children in existing mentoring relationships will benefit from enhancements to five Amachi mentoring programs in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Minnesota, New York and Texas, and an additional 1,500 new matches will be made.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America won a $48 million award to expand mentoring programs in three specific goal areas:  support for mentoring in underserved communities, mentoring through the Targeted Outreach program and minority male mentor recruitment. Emphasis will be given to addressing the existing shortage of African American, Latino, and Native American male mentors through targeted recruitment, training and support. Clubs will provide services to youth with a parent in the military. Mentoring programs will achieve specific performance goals and objectives, including improved academic, social and career outcomes as well as behavioral and personal development. Fattah recently spoke at the Congressional Breakfast for the Boys and Girls Clubs.  Click here to listen to his remarks.

The grants come from the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).  OJJDP provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families.  

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah