The LUK Mentoring Program announced it has been awarded a Mentoring Matching Grant of $10,000 from the Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), a statewide organization fueling the movement to expand quality youth mentoring to meet the needs of communities in Massachusetts. LUK Mentoring is one of 26 mentoring programs throughout the commonwealth to receive a Mentoring Matching Grant.
Funding for the grants stems from the Mentoring Matching Grants line item in the governor's budget through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. It was funded at $350,000 for fiscal 2014. It is unique in its use of private-sector support, as grantees are required to match, dollar-for-dollar, the total amount awarded with cash or in-kind resources.
The funding will increase the number of youth receiving a one-on-one, positive, adult role model in their lives.
LUK Mentoring Program Coordinator Hilary Amedy explains the importance of receiving this funding, "Funding from Mass Mentoring Partnership will allow the LUK Mentoring Program to serve youth in our community who we are unable to serve through other limited funding sources, provide mentors to more youth and reduce our list of youth waiting for that special role model."
One of the program's current mentors stated the importance of mentoring, "While parents and educators play a major role in helping kids reach their full potential, mentoring brings a different aspect. An adult who willingly and selflessly spends time with a child can do wonderful things. Mentors can build confidence, help teach kids what a healthy decision is, and can be there to listen during tough times with regards to family life, friends or school."
Funded programs are awarded through a competitive RFP process and community review administered by MMP, and receive training, technical support, and mentor recruitment assistance from MMP.
"We are thrilled to award LUK Mentoring with a Mentoring Matching Grant," MMP President and CEO Marty Martinez said. "This critical funding will allow LUK Mentoring to support their matches with quality-based, research-driven practices and resources that ensure youth are given every opportunity to develop into productive, successful adults."
Across Massachusetts, Mentoring Matching Grants will create and support 1,000 high-quality matches -- 200 more than last year. It will also support existing matches, leading to improved mentee grades, attendance and attitude towards school, which in turn leads to increased graduation rates, and a better-prepared, more skilled sect of entry-level workers.
LUK Mentoring Program is a volunteer-driven, community-based mentoring program that pairs youth ages 6-17 in the region with a caring, responsible adult role model for a minimum of one hour per week. Matches participate in many activities together -- throwing a football, going for a hike, going to a movie, etc.
LUK Mentoring Program's mission is to "Make a friend. Make a difference. Help them discover the possibilities."