Funding for Mentoring Programs

Federal Funding Sustains and Helps to Expand Quality Programs

Legislative Goal:

To ensure Congress includes funding for the Youth Mentoring Grants program in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

As Congress debates fiscal year 2015 spending, MENTOR is requesting $100 million for this program, which distributes critical funding to local, regional and national mentoring programs through a fair, open, transparent and competitive process.

Not only is quality mentoring an effective investment in a young person’s development, it is also a smart financial investment in our nation’s future. Evidence shows that quality mentoring yields a 3:1 return on investment dollars, which can help America grow a vibrant future workforce that can better compete globally.

A coalition of leaders from national youth mentoring organizations, support this request for $100 million and have asked the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to include $100 million in the federal fiscal year 2015 budget for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Youth Mentoring Grants program. 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. 

Mentoring: An Investment in Positive Youth Outcomes

Snapshot: Youth Mentoring Research and Outcomes

Legislative Milestones:

2012: President Obama’s FY13 request was $20 million lower than the previous year’s enacted level of $78 million. Moreover, funding for other federal mentoring programs such as the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program in the Department of Health and Human Services, the Tribal Youth National Mentoring Program in the Department of Justice and the School-Based Mentoring Grants program in the Department of Education, have been eliminated in recent years. MENTOR, the Boys and Girls Club of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation sent a joint letter to Congress in support of $100 million in funding for the Youth Mentoring Grants program managed by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

2011: By a vote of 235-189, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, a continuing resolution that cut government programs by $100 billion for the rest of this fiscal year. This bill eliminates the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), would zero out funding for the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program, and cuts Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) funding by 45 percent.

2010: House Mentoring Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) collected signatures on our annual mentoring funding request letter for FY11. As in years past, the House letter, addressed to Labor-HHS-Education Appropriators, requests that the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program again receive level funding of nearly $50 million.

2009: 20 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter in support of funding for mentoring Senators Akaka (D-HI) and Grassley (R-IA) once again spearheaded the effort to secure funding for mentoring in FY10. They sent “Dear Colleague” letters to Senators requesting that they support level funding for mentoring—specifically, that the $50 million for ED’s Mentoring Programs grants be restored and that we again receive level funding of $50 million for the Mentoring Children of Prisoners program.