Contact: Sandra Hodgetts, Development Manager, (617) 778-1312, firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate release
Boston, October 22, 2019: Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding quality youth mentoring in Massachusetts, is awarding $869,000 in Mentoring Matching Grants to mentoring and youth-serving organizations across the state. Silver Lining Mentoring is one of only 44 organizations chosen to receive a grant. These funds were approved by the State Legislature in the FY2020 Budget and are the only state funding dedicated to the mentoring field. MMP worked closely with legislative and community partners in advocating for the money, which represents a 110% increase over the last two years.
This grant is supporting Silver Lining Mentoring’s Community Based Mentoring program for youth in Greater Boston foster care. Community-Based Mentoring pairs youth impacted by foster care ages seven and older with a committed volunteer adult mentor for a minimum of one year. The average length of mentoring relationships supported by Silver Lining Mentoring is 55 months, over six times the national average of nine months. Silver Lining Mentoring attributes its match longevity to the support provided to all mentors and mentees by the organization’s clinically-trained social workers. For many Silver Lining Mentoring youth, their mentor is the only person in their lives who is not paid to spend time with them, such as a social worker, teacher, or residential staff member.
“The Mentoring Matching Grant creates new opportunities for Silver Lining Mentoring to expand our program capabilities and depth of mentoring services for youth in foster care,” said Silver Lining Mentoring’s CEO, Colby Swettberg. “With the help of this grant, Silver Lining Mentoring proudly employs a full-time team of clinically-trained Masters level program staff that has experience working with young people who face complex challenges in their ever-changing home, school, and community environments. We’re grateful to MMP for helping to fund committed, high-quality program staff positions which bring consistency to our long-term mentoring relationships for youth.”
The Mentoring Matching Grants are managed by MMP, with oversight from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and are intended to improve students’ attitudes towards school. Research has shown that young people who are in mentoring relationships show improved academic performance, have better school attendance, and a greater chance of going on to higher education. Despite this compelling evidence, there remains a shortage of mentors, with research suggesting that one in three young people will grow up without one. This year’s grants are expected to create and support more than 3,200 high-quality mentor and mentee matches in schools and youth-serving programs statewide.
MMP President and CEO Lily Mendez is proud of the work Silver Lining Mentoring is doing in Boston. “For children to grow up to become active, engaged and thriving members of the community, they need adults in their lives who can serve as positive role models and help them explore, learn, reach and evolve,” Mendez said. “Through their work, Silver Lining Mentoring is improving educational opportunities and life outcomes of our young people.”
About Mass Mentoring Partnership
Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is committed to ensuring that every young person in the state has access to quality mentoring relationships, regardless of who they are or where they live. MMP is a statewide capacity-building organization that partners with corporate, public and philanthropic entities to drive critical resources to a network of more than 350 mentoring and youth-serving organizations, representing more than 50,000 young people. To learn more visit www.massmentors.org
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