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(BOSTON) Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding the number and impact of empowering youth-adult relationships across the state, announced an increase in funding for mentoring programs following the signing of the FY20 Massachusetts budget. The new budget includes $1,000,000 in the Mentoring Matching Grants line item, which serves as the only state funding dedicated to mentoring. The line item is a competitive grant program managed by MMP, with oversight from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, designed to create and support mentoring programs and young people across the Commonwealth.
Since 2009, MMP has awarded more than $3.5 million in Mentoring Matching Grants to youth serving organizations throughout Massachusetts. This year’s grants will create and support more than 3,200 high-quality mentor and mentee matches. The line item leverages private funding through a dollar-for-dollar match requirement. On average, grantees spend a minimum of $1,250 to screen, train, and match a young person with an adult mentor for a school year.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to expand and enhance the mentoring movement in Massachusetts,” said Lily Mendez, President and CEO of Mass Mentoring Partnership. “We are so grateful to Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn and Representative Aaron Vega of Holyoke for serving as our legislative champions again this year. I would also like to thank Governor Baker and the entire State Legislature for recognizing the importance of mentoring and its demonstrable impact on improving life outcomes for young people.”
In addition to building the capacity of mentoring programs statewide, the funding increase will also enable MMP to deepen its dropout prevention pilot program in schools with high rates of chronic absenteeism, using the effective youth-adult mentoring model.
The Mentoring Matching Grants funds are awarded to programs through a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process, and programs are supported with training and capacity building from MMP based on the latest research and best practices.
Programs receiving Mentoring Matching Grant funds in the past have demonstrated improvements in academic-related goals for the year, such as improved attitude towards school, higher test scores and grades, and better classroom behavior. In addition, these programs also report significant increases among youth served in self confidence, self efficacy and positive attitude about the future, building a strong foundation for our economy.
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