The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has awarded Big Brothers Big Sisters of America two grants totaling $11.75 million to continue the national non-profit’s evidence-based one-to-one mentoring program.
The first grant is the Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative; the second is the OJJDP Statewide and Regional Mentoring Initiative for Youth Impacted by Opioids (MYIO). The investment in these two critical programs will mean that youth in communities across the country will be matched with caring adult mentors, through more than 90 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies. Funding is important, as the need for mentoring services is needed now more than in ever with youth facing challenges and isolation due to the pandemic.
When comparing Big Brothers Big Sisters Risk and Protective Inventory (RPI) data to national data, parents who have children enrolled in a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program report that 28% have one or more family members who has a problem with alcoholism or drug use, compared to 8% children nationally.
“We are very appreciative of OJJDP’s continued support,” said Pam Iorio, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “This increase in funding will make an incredible impact on our agencies and staff who are committed to empowering youth and the communities they serve.”