Mentoring Grants Include Newcomers, Surprises

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The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention made the much-anticipated announcement of its national mentoring grant winners last month. The grants totaled $129 million through two funding streams: the Recovery Act and the agency’s basic 2009 appropriation for juvenile mentoring.

The list of winners included a few surprises, but nothing was more startling than a name that did not appear: Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA). The biggest name on the mentoring block applied for grants under the Recovery Act and appropriations, having received $8.6 million in national mentoring funds from OJJDP in fiscal 2008. But in a review process that is said to have gone strictly by the scores, BBBSA missed out.

It appears, however, that the Justice Department will fund BBBSA out of different accounts, to the tune of at least $2.9 million. In a memo sent to leaders of BBBSA affiliates in September, Chief Operating Officer Mack Koonce said the organization has “been in dialogue” with the Justice Department and found out it will receive a $1 million grant “under the FY '09 bidding process, and a separate $1.9 [million] grant for Native American mentoring.” The organization could be successful on two other Justice Department projects of $500,000 each, Koonce wrote.

As for the winners: Below is a look at who got grants, how much they got, and what their plans are for spending it. For more analysis of the winners and their plans for the grants, search for “Winners of National Mentoring Grants” at

Recovery Act Grants

Winner: Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Atlanta.

Amount: $44 million.

Plans: Enable clubs to save and create jobs, and enhance mentoring opportunities for youth.

Winner: Goodwill Industries International, Rockville, Md.

Amount: $19.2 million.

Plans: Projects at approximately 57 of its sites in 48 states, focusing on 12- to 17-year-olds who are adjudicated or deemed at risk of juvenile justice involvement.

Winner: Public/Private Ventures, Philadelphia.

Amount: $17.8 million.

Plans: Build the capacity and size of 43 of its Amachi Mentoring sites, which serve children with incarcerated parents.

Winner: National Association of Police Athletic Activities Leagues, Jupiter, Fla.

Amount: $3.7 million

Plans: A paid mentoring coordinator for 150 PAL programs around the country.

2009 Appropriations Grants

Winner: Home Builders Institute, Washington, D.C.

Amount: $9.9 million.

Plans: Provide 2,000 mentors for about 5,000 youth using its membership (comprised largely of contractors, builders and real estate professionals) as a pool of potential mentors.

Winner: Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation, Washington.

Amount: $9 million.

Plans: Replicate its two mentoring-based models – Safe Haven and Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP) – at nonprofit partners around the country.

Winner: YouthBuild USA, Somerville, Mass.

Amount: $8.8 million.

Plans: Develop mentoring programs at 40 sites and give each $150,000 over three years to carry them out.

Winner: Young Men’s Christian Association, San Francisco.

Amount: $7.1 million.

Plans: Replicate its 16-year-old mentoring model at 30 YMCA sites in six regions: San Francisco, Oakland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Phoenix and Nashville.

Winner: The Institute for Educational Leadership, Washington, D.C.

Amount: $3.5 million.

Plans: Establish the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) at 12, working with young people with learning or behavioral disabilities.

Winner: Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Lenexa, Kan.

Amount: $3.3 million.

Plans: Capacity building, training and technical assistance to implement, refine or expand mentoring programs at some of the 178 “compassion ministry centers” in its network.

Winner: The Experience Corps, Washington, D.C.

Amount: $2.8 million.

Plans: Pair children who are in kindergarten through third grade with mentors above age 55, who also tutor them in reading.