U.S. Representative Rick Crawford (AR-1) announced Tuesday the National 4-H Council has awarded $164,000 to the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in support of the 4-H National Mentoring Program. The grant comes as a part of the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s national effort to strengthen, expand, and implement youth mentoring activities to improve the lives of millions of young Americans.
This grant will provide funding to facilitate 4-H mentoring programs in Arkansas, including the First District, to keep kids safe and prevent youth delinquency. These programs were developed in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Children, Youth and Families at Risk Program which sparks innovation in community-based educational programs for children, youth, parents, and families.
“As a 4-H alumnus and a former member of the 4-H Foundation Board of Arkansas, I’ve experienced and seen the positive impact this program has played in the lives of our nation’s young people,” Congressman Crawford said. “4-H presents these youth with great opportunities to learn valuable skills they can carry throughout their lives, and its ability to reach at-risk young people has proven exceptionally remarkable. I’m excited to see these dollars invested in such a worthy program.”
According to The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspective on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring, 76 percent of at-risk young adults who had a mentor aspired to enroll in and graduate from college, whereas half of at-risk young adults without a mentor did not have similar goals.
As of 2013, the 4-H National Mentoring Program has served over 31,000 youth, resulting in significant outcomes in areas such as family relationships, perceptions of social support, and social competence.