National Mentoring Resource Center Blog

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Request for Proposals: Disability Mentoring Initiative

NOVEMBER 7, 2017

Partners for Youth With DisabilitiesPartners for Youth with Disabilities, an OJJDP Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative grantee, has issued a request for proposals from nonprofit organizations to become subawardees within its Disability Mentoring Initiative.

Youth with disabilities are at extremely high risk for involvement in the juvenile justice system. A critical need exists for youth with disabilities to have access to positive role models. Mentoring continues to be regarded as a highly successful program model for improving the lives of at-risk youth. Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) seeks to add 1-2 new collaborators.

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New and Featured OJJDP Resources for Youth Development Practitioners

OCTOBER 30, 2017

OJJDP News at a GlanceThis month’s OJJDP News @ A Glance highlighted several new resources recently released by OJJDP and its technical assistance centers that are relevant to mentoring practitioners, specifically those working with tribal youth, gang-involved young people, and youth impacted by bullying.

For one, OJJDP announced that its Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center has launched its new website. This center’s goal is to help tribes build capacity to develop, expand, improve, and maintain their juvenile justice systems. The website serves as a clearinghouse of culturally appropriate resources, training, and technical assistance and provides information in areas such as juvenile healing to wellness courts; tribal youth-specific prevention, intervention, and treatment programming; and tribal-state collaborations to meet the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native children exposed to violence. You can visit OJJDP’s Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center website and learn more about OJJDP's tribal youth programs and services.

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Research Alert: Web-Based Peer-Support for New Fathers

OCTOBER 27, 2017

A new study out of the University of Newcastle (Fletcher, et al., 2017) highlights the potential of web-based peer support to engage new fathers in an Aboriginal community in New South Wales, Australia. As a part of the research process, twenty young fathers from the Aboriginal community were recruited to help build a curriculum of mobile phone-based text messages and web-based resources designed to provide mental health and parenting supports for other new fathers in the same community. The program’s emphasis on culturally relevant supports and a participatory approach that positioned young men as role models for one another seemed related to the positive feedback the researchers found in the program’s evaluations. Learn more about the study here.

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ASPIRA in Action: Mentoring, Empowering and Investing in Latino Youth

OCTOBER 23, 2017

ASPIRA Inc.ASPIRA Inc. of Illinois is a Puerto Rican non-profit organization committed to the self-determination of Latino and other underserved youth through educational opportunity, leadership development, and cultural awareness.

In the City of Chicago, many young people of color lack the support and funding that create pathways toward opportunity. ASPIRA mentors play a crucial role by stepping up in their communities to support Latino teens in establishing and achieving personal, academic, and professional goals. Mentors join the ASPIRA Mentoring Program for various reasons. Some want to build positive connections with a younger generation and empower youth to develop as leaders, while others are eager to support first generation youth through their shared identities and experiences. Although mentors come from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, they are trained to provide meaningful insight and support during critical times in the mentees’ lives.

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Dr. Howard C. Stevenson's Racial Literacy Training at UPENN

OCTOBER 13, 2017

“When people are threatened in a racial moment, they are overwhelmed and unable to access their own abilities, their own competencies and are unable to access the very things we think of what involves teaching and policing our society.”

This past August, I had the very good fortune of attending a three-day Racial Empower Collaborative (REC) workshop led by Dr. Howard C. Stevenson the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania.

Stevenson is the author of several books including, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Difference That Makes a Difference; and PLAAY: Preventing Long-Term Anger and Aggression in Youth. His research publications and clinical work involve developing culturally relevant "in-the-moment" strengths-based measures and therapeutic interventions that teach emotional and racial literacy skills to families and youth. Dr. Stevenson was joined by two of his post-doctoral students, Kelsey Jones, Ph.D. and Jason Javier-Watson, Ed.D. co-led the training. There were ten participants, mostly K-12 educators primarily from the Philadelphia area and others from New Jersey and New England including two licensed social workers from New Orleans, LA.

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