Fattah Announces Recipients of National Youth Mentoring Grants

Oct 03, 2013, 13:46 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-02), a leading Congressional advocate for youth mentoring and the Senior Democratic Appropriator for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), congratulated the six organizations recently announced as recipients of DOJ's National Mentoring Programs Initiative. The funding supports programs around the country in strengthening and expanding their mentoring services, while improving access to mentoring programs for underserved youth.

The grants, totaling nearly $50 million, were awarded to the following national organizations:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of America - $22,236,064
  • Goodwill Industries International - $9,000,000
  • National 4-H Council - $7,275,333
  • National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association - $4,500,000
  • National Association of Police Athletics/Activities League - $2,000,000
  • YouthBuild USA - $4,000,000

"The programs offered by these six organizations touch the lives of students both in Philadelphia, and around the country, and represent the gold-standard in mentoring programs," Fattah said. "They excel at reaching far and wide to impact the lives of children and teens from all walks of life. This support allows them to amplify their successful programs, serve more youth, and as a result build a stronger future generation."

From YouthBuild USA, to the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, the six grantee recipients represent the diversity of successful, evidence-based mentoring programs that operate nationwide. YouthBuild engages young people to work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas at the same time learning job skills building affordable housing in their communities, while CASA seeks to increase the availability of one-on-one mentoring services and advocacy for children and youth in foster care. CASA's grant will support state and local CASA programs in at least 38 states. In 2012, there were 82 CASA volunteers in Philadelphia that served 207 children.

"Research and experience tell us that the steady presence of caring, supportive adults builds needed assets in young people," said CASA for Children CEO Michael Piraino. "In the US today, too many of our 646,000 foster youth are going it alone. They want and need advocates and mentors to help them reach their full potential. This grant will allow us to serve more children and enhance our existing programs." 

As the Senior Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies (CJS), Fattah has worked to increase DOJ funding for youth mentoring programs, including expanding the collaboration between the federal government and mentoring organizations. A crowning achievement of these efforts to date is the formalized collaboration between the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) and NASA. Last month, with Fattah's support, NASA signed a Space Act Agreement with BGCA to infuse STEM content into their mentoring programs and inspire a new generation of students interested in science, technology, engineering and math.

"The impacts of youth mentoring programs are immeasurable. Mentoring programs provide adult role models for youth without one, expand access to educational and career opportunities, supply structured activities outside of the classroom, offer enriching extracurricular experiences, and develop leadership skills – all focused on changing young lives for the better. These grantees, and the hundreds of other successful mentoring services around the country, deserve our attention, our activism, and our support."

The youth mentoring grants are awarded by DOJ's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). 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