YouthBuild USA Receives $3.68M Mentorship Grant from Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

SOMERVILLE, Mass., November 19, 2019 — To expand its YouthBuild Mentoring model to opportunity youth across the country, YouthBuild USA has been awarded a three-year, $3.68 million grant through the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative. This is the fifth OJJDP grant that YouthBuild USA has received since 2009.

Over the past ten years, YouthBuild programs have provided formal mentoring services to more than 7,300 opportunity youth. This newly awarded OJJDP grant will help expand the program to over 850 additional opportunity youth, ages 16 to 17 years old, within 40 YouthBuild programs over the next three years. In addition to training, the funds will also be used to connect more strongly to programs serving rural or Native American/Alaska Native communities. The goal is to ensure that mentored youth complete the program, enter post-secondary education or the workforce, succeed in their employment placements, provide higher levels of service and leadership to their communities, and become mentors themselves. This youth-oriented approach allows committed, caring community volunteers to take a personal stake in the lives of young people who benefit from their guidance.

“Access to formalized mentorship helps students develop a mindset of lifelong learning and provides a safe environment to learn critical skills to navigate their careers and lives,” said John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA. “Above all, it inspires confidence that every student has the ability to transform their communities and the world.”

Staff, volunteers, and alumni at local YouthBuild programs are trained to be caring mentors for students while they are enrolled in their program. In order to provide adequate adult support for YouthBuild graduates transitioning into employment or post-secondary education, YouthBuild USA has developed a formal mentoring model to engage adult volunteers in 15-month mentoring relationships that cover this transition.

YouthBuild programs across the U.S. help opportunity youth – unemployed and out-of-school young people ages 16 to 24 — attain their High School Equivalency (HSE) or high school diploma. During that time, they also learn career skills by building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods while engaging in community service and leadership training. Graduates leave prepared for success in postsecondary education, careers and registered apprenticeships — and as a part of a strong and supportive global community.

About YouthBuild USA

YouthBuild USA is the nonprofit support center for 300 local YouthBuild programs operating in 21 countries, with 252 programs in 46 U.S. states and 48 programs in 20 other countries. In YouthBuild programs, unemployed, low-income, and out-of-school young people ages 16 to 24 work toward their high school diploma or equivalency, while learning job skills by building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods and engaging in community service and leadership training. Proven effective by the most rigorous program evaluation research, YouthBuild’s comprehensive model gives graduates the confidence and tools they need to become strong, responsible, and ethical young leaders. For more information, visit youthbuild.org.  

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