Advocacy

Advocacy.jpgMentoring and youth development programs’ voices are vital in helping Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP)  raise awareness about the role that empowering youth-adult relationships play in addressing systemic social problems and garner support at the local, state and federal levels of government. By familiarizing yourself with the steps of the state budget process, learning about policies and initiatives related to mentoring, and building relationships with your community’s legislators and other public officials, you can play a critical role in ensuring that the needs of the field are heard – and met. 

YOUTH MENTORING DAY 2020  

Thank you to all who attended Youth Mentoring Day 2020! It was powerful to be in the presence of more than 300 program and youth leaders representing 105 organizations and institutions from across the state. We are grateful to Speaker Robert DeLeo and First Lady Lauren Baker for celebrating the power of mentoring with us, along with our legislative champions Representative Aaron Vega and Senator Brendan Crighton. This year’s theme, Power of Collective Impact, was put into practice as youth mentoring advocates participated in over 90 legislative meetings. In addition to advocating for the Mentoring Matching Grants Line Item, we also voiced our support for several bills that will enhance the lives of young people in Massachusetts.

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State-Level

Budget Advocacy

why issue.gifWe are thrilled to share the great news that the Conference Committee has released their budget, and the Mass Mentoring Matching Grants line item was fully funded at $1,000,000! This represents a a 33% increase over last year.

This is truly a shared victory. All of your collective efforts and outreach have allowed us to see the largest increase in funding for the line item since FY2002. Though this process was long and at times arduous, we accomplished so much together to increase awareness of the impact of mentoring. The results of this increase will be deep and widespread, reaching communities from Boston to Pittsfield. 

How This Funding Impacts Our Communities 

The $250,000 increase from FY19 positioned us well to reinvest in our current cohort of mentoring programs statewide. This also allowed for the investment of new grantee programs not previously supported through the line item, resulting in an increased number of mentoring matches in our targeted communities, including: Lynn, Lawrence, Springfield, Holyoke, Boston and Cape Cod and the Islands. Lastly, this increase enabled MMP to create a dropout prevention pilot program in Boston Public Schools, placing social-emotional supports by way of success coaches in schools to improve attendance. This proven method of bringing developmental relationships in schools improves both school climate and student connectedness to their education, resulting in positive outcomes in school, in their communities, and in life. For a formal announcement, read our latest press release here

Learn More:

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FY19 MMG Cover Photo.JPGList of Programs Funded Statewide in FY20
Funded programs are awarded through a competitive RFP process and community review administered by MMP. These programs also receive training, technical support, and mentor recruitment assistance from MMP. Meet the the programs receiving funding for FY2020 in our catalog!

Download this catalog!

For more information or questions, please contact Chelsea Aquino, Senior Manager of Government Relations and Public Policy, at caquino@massmentors.org

 

 

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Legislative Advocacy

2019-2020 Legislative Priorities

MMP’s Priority Bills and Budget Items 

Mentoring-related Legislation- MMP’s signature policy priorities from 2017-18 and new legislation that has been identified to expand on mentoring services statewide.

7061-9634    Increase the investment of the Mentoring Matching Grants line item  to $1,000,000 in FY20. (PASSED)

Sponsors:     Sen. Brendan Crighton (Lynn) and Rep. Aaron Vega (Holyoke) 

  • Requesting a 250K increase enabling us to fund additional mentoring programs. Would yield an additional $1,000,000 in a private dollar-for-dollar match. 

H.550;S.241    An Act Relative to Dropout Prevention and Re-engagement 

Sponsors:     Sen. Sonia Chang Diaz (Boston); Rep. Alice Peisch (House Chair of Education)

  • Success coaches as mentors for chronically absent students in middle and high school. Schools with high dropout rates to utilize these interventions. 

S.238; H.586    PROMISE Act- An Act providing rightful opportunities and meaningful investment for successful and equitable education (PASSED)

Sponsors:      Sen. Sonia Chang Diaz, Rep. Aaron Vega 

  • Updates the state’s funding formula for chapter 70, making it more equitable. Intends to bring more funding per student in low-income, marginalized communities. ​

 

MMP Endorsed Bills 

Legislation including field-mobilizing - Bills tied to our work on the school-to-prison pipeline that MMP has been asked to support by legislators. Will promote through Voter Voice and garner support from school-based mentoring programs in our network. 

H.577        An Act Promoting Trauma-informed Supports in Schools  

Sponsor:     Rep. Chynah Tyler (Boston) 

  • Defines school counselor, School Social Worker and School Trauma Specialist; all required to be trained in trauma-informed practice and cultural competency

H.531; S.297    An Act to Promote the Education Success of Court Involved Children     

Sponsors:     Rep. Joan Meschino (Hull) and Sen. Pat Jehlen (Somerville) 

  • Clarify disciplinary standards to reflect the recommendations of DESE to reduce school suspensions and expulsions. School discipline can no longer be enforced for

behavior or criminal complaints outside of school, involuntary assault and for marijuana possession. 

Advocate for social emotional supports in schools and stay up to date on our advocacy efforts below:

 Click here to contact your legislator now! 

Learn More: 

​Allocating Recreational Marijuana Revenue to Youth Development
Mentoring agencies and youth development organizations across Massachusetts are improving the lives of vulnerable youth by providing access to empowering youth-adult relationships and the kind of wrap-around supports youth need to stay in school, make responsible choices around risk-taking behavior, and to succeed in all facets of their lives. Research has proven that at-risk youth who are matched with a mentor for more than a year are less likely to become involved in substance and alcohol abuse, less likely to be truant, less likely to commit violent acts, and are more likely to show improved academic performance and improved attitudes toward school.

Mass Mentoring Partnership fights to maintain the funding that enables mentoring programs to succeed, build capacity, and serve more youth.

For this reason, we have petitioned the members of the Committee on Marijuana Policy to dedicate a portion of the tax collected from recreational marijuana sales to help build the capacity of mentoring programs statewide. An alternative revenue stream dedicated specifically to supporting developmental relationships for our young people and mentoring would have a lasting and positive impact on our Commonwealth!

To learn more about this issue and how other states allocate portions of their revenue to youth, check out this blog post

For any additional questions, contact MMP’s Senior Manager of Government Relations and Public Policy, Chelsea Aquino, at caquino@massmentors.org.

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Advocacy Resources

General Resources

Get Involved

As MMP thinks about policy solutions to address these issues for the 191st legislative session, I hope you will continue to engage with us and share your own stories and findings. Here are a few ways to get involved: 

  1. Advocate: stay up-to-date on our advocacy efforts relating to dropout prevention. Contact your legislators and get MMP Advocacy updates.
  2. Share Your Story: In what ways are you using mentoring as a lever? Do you have success stories?  Email us.
  3. Attend a Training: If you are interested in advocacy training for your organization/program, fill out this quick training request form

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Federal-Level

Each January, MMP travels to Washington to support MENTOR in their national advocacy efforts, encouraging members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to support mentoring in their national legislative priorities. 

National Mentoring Priorities 

  • Support Investment in Quality Youth Mentoring by supporting $120 million for the Youth Mentoring Program grant at the Department of Justice in FY20.
  • Support the Transition to Success Mentoring Act to establish a mentoring program for at-risk students transitioning from middle to high school.
  • Support the Foster Youth Mentoring Act to establish support for mentoring programs that serve youth in the foster care system.
  • Support the Mentoring to Succeed Act to establish a grant to assist school districts, local governments, and community-based organizations to expand quality mentoring programs for at-risk students. 
  • Join the Congressional Youth Mentoring Caucus to support the important work that youth mentoring programs across the nation lead every day.

To learn more information on the following legislation, visit this link.
To advocate in support of MENTOR, visit this link.