Bill would provide funding for mentoring programs for children facing adversity
Irving, TX, Nov. 22, 2013- Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is pleased to support the America’s FOCUS (Fund for Future Opportunities and Outcomes in the United States) Act unveiled Friday byRep. Chaka Fattah (D-Phila.). America’s FOCUS authorizes state and local governments and the Secretary of Education, in conjunction with the Federal Mentoring Council and NASA’s Office of Education, to issue grants to non-profits with evidence-based programs in STEM and mentoring.
The bill establishes the America’s FOCUS Fund within the Department of Treasury and authorizes the Secretaryof the Treasury to deposit all corporate fines, penalties and directed monies from penalties and settlements into the Fund. Thirty-three percent of the revenue in the fund will go toward investments in STEM Education and youth mentoring.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is grateful to Congressman Fattah for his continued support and commitment to mentoring services,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters President and CEO, Charles Pierson. “Congressman Fattah has been a champion of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ work to provide long-term professionally supported mentoring programs for children facing adversity and services to their volunteer mentors and families that contributes to successful youth outcomes. The America’s FOCUS Act would channel existing funds to our most valuable asset: our children and enable us to expand our reach, helping more children overcome adversity to succeed in school and life.”
“Like thousands of children around the country, my life was changed by a mentoring relationship with a Big Brother in Philadelphia,” said Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Phila). “Today I am proud to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America in helping our children realize their fullest potential. I thank BBBSA for their support of America’s FOCUS Act, and for their vision and leadership each and every day in providing mentorship opportunities to youth across our country. Together, we are directing our attention to the future generation, and ensuring today’s youth have the support, education, and training to become tomorrow’s leaders.”
In addition to funding youth mentoring and STEM programs, the FOCUS dollars would support Justice reinvestment and innovations in medical research, with each receiving 33 percent. One percent would provide funding for paying down the national debt and economic growth.
Key Facts Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters is 109 years old and the nation’s largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network.
Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 630,000 children, volunteers and families through approximately 340 agencies.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children of single or low-income households or families or those where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to measurable outcomes through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcome Survey which substantiates independent research fining its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth — areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is engaged in a nationwide search to reunite with alumni mentors, mentees, donors, and family, staff and board members. Learn more at BigBrothersBigSisters.org.