Rallying Congress to Safeguard Mentoring Funding

by Abbie Evans, Director of Government Relations at MENTOR

iStock_000023005017LargeCongress is developing its budget and appropriations priorities for the fiscal year 2015 (FY15). It is critical that they hear from the mentoring community now about the importance of a strong funding commitment for the Youth Mentoring Grant program at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). MENTOR is calling on Congress to provide $100 million for the program in FY15 and we need your help!

We are working with national partners and congressional allies to organize support for an increased investment in the Youth Mentoring Grant program. Here’s where things stand now:

  • A coalition sign-on letter calling for a $100 million appropriation for the Youth Mentoring Grant program at OJJDP was sent to the House and Senate appropriations committees. The letters were signed by more than 20 national youth mentoring organizations.
  • In the House, Representative Frederica Wilson (FL-24) is circulating a letter (known as a “Dear Colleague” letter) to her colleagues asking them to join her in support of $100 million for the Youth Mentoring Grant program. Rep. Wilson’s office worked with MENTOR to draft the letter to her colleagues to make a strong case for this funding.
  • We are working on securing a sponsor for a Senate Dear Colleague letter to ensure strong support in both chambers.
  • In March, MENTOR CEO David Shapiro addressed the House Mentoring Caucus at a special briefing. This caucus provides useful resources and information about the needs of the mentoring community to congressional staff and highlights the work being done across the country. The House Mentoring Caucus is chaired by three mentoring champions: Reps Betty McCollum (MN-04), Mike Rogers (MI-08) and Susan Davis (CA-53). Interested Representatives can reach out to the tri-chairs to join the House Mentoring Caucus.

Take action now!

You can locate your legislators’ contact information here and then call or e-mail your Representative and two Senators to ask them to support the Youth Mentoring Grant program at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in FY15.

Download sample emails to Congress and social media messages.


Abbie Evans is the Director of Government Relations at MENTOR: National Mentoring Partnership. MENTOR’s work over the last two decades has helped millions of young people, ages 6-18, find the support and guidance they need to build productive and meaningful lives. MENTOR is one of the National Human Service Assembly’s 86 members.

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