In March, we received exciting news that the Youth Mentoring Grant was funded at $94 million in federal fiscal year 2018 (FY18) – a $14 million increase from FY17. This accomplishment is thanks to the messages mentoring advocates sent to Congress over the last few months reminding legislators to prioritize investments in young people as the FY18 appropriations process unfolded. While Congress was working to complete funding for FY18, they also continued to work towards funding for FY19, which begins on October 1.
In March and April, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees accepted letters of support, known as Dear Colleague letters, for specific programs in the federal budget. Robust support from many members of Congress can help demonstrate the value of a program to the leadership of the Appropriations Committees.
In the House of Representatives, Rep. Jim Langevin (RI-02) and Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-24) wrote a letter of support for the Youth Mentoring Grant that included over 80 of their colleagues. The members of Congress who signed on to this bipartisan letter represented over 26 states and Puerto Rico and are all committed to increasing funding to the Youth Mentoring Grant because of the work you as a mentoring advocate do! In the Senate, Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) was joined by 23 of his colleagues for a similar letter of support for the Youth Mentoring Grant and represented over 20 states. We thank these 107 members of Congress for listening to their constituents and demonstrating their support for youth mentoring through the appropriations process.
In addition, 50 national and local youth-serving organizations collectively wrote a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in support of the Youth Mentoring Grant emphasizing how mentoring can help build bridges in communities and support positive outcomes for young people.
As Congress progresses through the appropriations process for FY19, mentoring advocates can continue to make their voices heard by sending messages to Congress asking them to increase funding for the Youth Mentoring Grant. Our advocacy tool allows you to email, tweet, and post on Facebook to your Member of Congress in just a few minutes.
Please be sure to also check back here for more updates from the Government Relations team as the FY19 appropriations process continues in Congress.