The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has granted $3 million to a unique strategic partnership to ensure that high-risk youth receive much needed mentoring services. The Leadership Foundations, New Vision Renewable Energy, and COPHANI have joined efforts to match 3,000 youth with caring adults to lower risky behaviors that contribute to delinquency.
"I have not encountered any other organization that has the same multi-city strategy or encompasses the same breadth of approaches like the Leadership Foundations," said Barbara Elliot, author of "Street Saints: Renewing America's Cities."
The Leadership Foundations Mentoring Initiative includes the successful approaches of COPHANI, New Vision Renewable Energy and Leadership Foundations to strengthen and expand mentoring programs for youth age 17 and younger in 38 states and Tribal communities.
New Vision of Barbour County staff members Ruston Seaman, Pamela O’Brien, Carol Frysiek and Dave Nonnemacher recently joined Leadership Foundations and COPHANI in Minneapolis, Minn. to review best practices for youth mentoring.
The program's goal is to reduce juvenile delinquency by increasing protections and lowering risks for America's underserved and at-risk youth through mentoring relationships. These goals will be achieved through (1) one-to-one, group, and peer mentoring relationships; (2) increased educational achievement, job readiness, and social skills; and (3) strengthened mentoring programs through collaborative community approaches
These best practices will guarantee decreased juvenile convictions and offenses and that youth will exhibit positive change in targeted behaviors. The Leadership Foundations Mentoring Initiative will use systems and tools created by Wilder Research (St. Paul, Minn.) to track performance measures.
The partnership consists of the following national and international networks: New Vision Renewable Energy, a Christian Community Development Organization working to ReEnergize Communities both locally and globally.
New Vision evolved from a rich 50-year history of ministry and development in rural communities in Appalachia and around the country. COPHANI, a Fellowship of Hispanic Pastors of New England, representing more than 80 Latino churches, promotes collaboration of Latino churches and faith-based organizations with the aim of sustaining and mobilizing these organizations to promote social transformation that will improve the lives of Latino families throughout the region. Lastly, the Leadership Foundations leverage impact in cities, takes innovate model programs to scale, and serves as a distribution system for best practices and resources.