Justice Names Major Mentoring Grant Winners

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Some of the biggest organizations in youth work were winners of the Justice Department’s National Mentoring grants announced Wednesday. They are:

* Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), $40 million.

* Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), $10 million.

* National Association of Police Athletic/Activities Leagues (PAL), $5 million.

* National 4-H Council, $5 million.

National 4-H, which is based in Chevy Chase, Md. and re-grants its funds to local 4-H clubs, is the only newcomer to the national mentoring group. BGCA’s total is down slightly from $44.4 million in 2009, and PAL comes up slightly from $3.7 million last year. BBBSA was all but shut out of the national competition last year; it received $1 million late in the process.

Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson announced the winners at the annual Congressional Breakfast of the BGCA, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd of 300 in an ornate room in a Senate office building.

In general, the national mentoring pie shrank enormously from 2009, because $85 million of last year’s $147 million in national grants were made with Recovery Act money.

The U.S. Office of Justice Programs (OJP) plans to announce winners for more mentoring grants by Oct. 1, including the Multi-State Mentoring grants. Although OJP calls those “local” mentoring grants, the applicants each had to demonstrate that they could reach youths in five states.

Those winners will share about $37 million, and it appears that none of the groups that qualified for the national grants could compete for it, as the rules say those with an “active program or programs with a financial relationship with affiliates in at least 45 states” were ineligible.

Nine organizations won national grants in 2009 and did not win in 2010: Public/Private Ventures, Goodwill Industries, Experience Corps, Eisenhower Foundation, YMCA of San Francisco, Home Builders Institute, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, YouthBuild USA and the Institute for Educational Leadership.  It remains to be seen if some of these former national winners went after the smaller mentoring grants.