This fall, through the 2018-2019 Vermont Mentoring Grants, MENTOR Vermont awarded 29 grants, totaling $310,300, to support adult-to-youth mentoring programs throughout the state. Locally, SB Mentoring, which supports approximately 60 mentoring pairs throughout all five schools in the South Burlington School District, received a grant of $10,000.
MENTOR Vermont, formerly known as Mobius, reports that, including the SB Mentoring grant, the overall funding will support more than 100 new and existing program sites, and nearly 1,800 adult-to-youth mentor pairs in communities across Vermont.
“We are deeply grateful for MENTOR Vermont’s generous support, which allows SB Mentoring to continue to grow and honor the students in our schools in exploring their ‘sparks,” their passions and interests, with a caring and respectful mentor,” said Susie Merrick, SBSD healthy schools coordinator. “MENTOR Vermont is a true community partner for mentoring programs throughout Vermont. We celebrate their hard work in ensuring programs remain sustainable.”
A grant was also awarded to Spectrum Youth and Family Services. They received a $20,000 grant to support the Spectrum Mentoring Program, a community-based program that serves teens throughout Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. Other local awards included a grant of $18,900 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont, which supports youth throughout Chittenden County as well as Essex, Orleans, and Windham counties, and a grant of $23,000 to the South Burlington-based DREAM Program, a statewide mentoring agency that matches college students as mentors for youth living in affordable housing communities.
The Vermont Mentoring Grants are made possible each year through funding support from the A.D. Henderson Foundation, the Vermont Department for Children and Families, and the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children. The 2018-2019 grants will provide continuing support for established programs that demonstrate they meet best practices and help plan and launch new programs in underserved regions of the state.
All 2018-2019 grantees have committed to being partners in the Vermont K-12 Mentoring Initiative, a multi-year project, spearheaded by MENTOR Vermont, to establish the statewide program infrastructure needed to allow youth the opportunity to be matched with a mentor from elementary school until they successfully enter adulthood.
Additionally, grantees beyond their first two years of operation are required to demonstrate that they are meeting best practices through the Quality Mentoring System (a program assessment system developed by MENTOR Vermont and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership). Grantees will also continue to use common questions from the Vermont Mentoring Surveys to survey their mentors and mentees, and track youth outcome data in the following key areas: resiliency, pro-social skills, future aspirations, connectedness to community, and program satisfaction.