Research demonstrates that quality mentoring relationships significantly benefit young people, especially those perceived to be at risk. Mentors provide them with the confidence, resources, continuity, and support they need to achieve their potential. As detailed in MENTOR’S 2013 issue brief Mentoring: Investments in Positive Youth Outcomes this critical support approach positively impacts academic achievement, workforce development, and juvenile justice outcomes. Public policy that supports quality mentoring programs is vital to ensuring that mentoring is leveraged as a strategy in all areas of youth development.
During the 113th Congress, several key issues affecting mentoring opportunities and mentoring programs are at stake—including funding for mentoring, passage of the Child Protection Improvements Act that affects background checks for individuals volunteering with or employed by mentoring programs, and inclusion of mentoring in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
The mentoring community is working together to secure funding for mentoring programs. A coalition of leaders from national youth mentoring organizations has asked the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to include $100 million in the federal fiscal year 2015 budget for the Youth Mentoring Grants program, a program of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In addition, more than 30 members of the U.S. House and 18 members of the U.S. Senate have signed letters also requesting this level of funding.
Your voice is critical in these efforts. Legislators listen to the views of their constituents. That means you have the power to influence the outcome of legislation, simply by communicating your views to your legislators.
Get informed, make your voice heard and take action today!
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