WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02), announced that $90 million for youth mentoring programs was included in the 2016 omnibus bill passed and signed into law last month. The announcement comes during National Mentoring Month, a month-long celebration to raise awareness and focus national attention on the need for mentoring programs.
The federal funds will support organizations and nonprofits who offer mentoring programs both nationally and on a local level. Fattah, who is one of Congress' most visible champions for youth mentoring, worked to secure the funding through his role as the senior member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS).
"In Philadelphia—like in every community around the country—there are thousands of children whose lives have the opportunity to be changed for the better by the presence of a mentor. The funding I was able to secure will allow organizations across the country to increase and strengthen their mentoring programs," Congressman Fattah said. "I am proud Congress has continued to recognize the importance of mentoring, especially the role it plays in improving the life chances for disconnected and low-income youth. Expanding opportunities for young people to find a mentor continues to be one of my top legislative priorities and I look forward to growing its impact in the coming year."
"Congress showing their support in this way truly is a testament to mentoring's real life impact on young people. Alongside President Obama's declaration of January as National Mentoring Month, and champions of mentoring like Congressman Fattah, it's exhilarating to see so much support for an issue that we know truly cannot be left to chance," said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.
The funding came as part of an overall $28.7 billion—$900 million above FY 15 levels—appropriated to the Department of Justice (DOJ). In addition to youth mentoring, Fattah was successful in securing funding for several additional DOJ priorities including:
- $125 million in funding for the DNA Initiative program
- $73 million for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
- $72 million for Missing and Exploited Children Programs
- $68 million for Second Chance Act programs
"Ultimately this DOJ funding goes to support federal programs and initiatives that make our communities stronger and safer," Congressman Fattah said. "I am especially pleased that the bill continues to fund two programs—The DNA Initiative and Community Backlog Reduction—that are working to successfully reduce the nationwide backlog for testing sexual assault kits in local law enforcement agencies. Additionally, I commend the continued funding of the Second Chance Act which will reduce recidivism rates across the country and ensure that those reentering society from prison or jail have the tools and resources to succeed."
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah