Big Brothers Big Sisters of America announces its proven one-to-one youth mentoring services will be integrated into the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program to help juvenile offenders receive workplace development and get jobs. The $5 million grant will be shared by ten of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 338 affiliated agencies in eight states and will serve 1,000 teens and young adults through Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Youth Workforce Opportunity Initiative (YWOI).  This unique program will deploy a set of innovative and evidence-based practices that are tailored to the local economic, social and cultural conditions of each participating community.

The goal of the 39-month YWOI project is to help the program’s participants graduate from a high school or earn an industry recognized certificate.  The program will serve teens and young adults, ages 14 to 24, who live in high-crime/high-poverty areas.  At least 90 percent of the participants will be juvenile offenders, up to 20 percent of whom may be currently serving time in detention and correction facilities.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters brings 110 years of mentoring expertise that results in measurable, positive youth outcomes,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters President and CEO Charles Pierson.

“These results are rooted in the ability of our local affiliates across the country to develop and implement broad-based partnerships with government, criminal justice authorities, social and human services and the business sector to serve children in their communities who face adversity.”

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