Goodwill has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia to offer Youth Mentoring to more individuals between the ages of 12 and 17.
Program leaders say that Franklin County has been seeing an increase in the involvement of youth with the juvenile system.
The new mentoring services are possible thank to a nearly $475,000 grant by Goodwill from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).
Program conductors say that this grant will allow Goodwill to serve youth over the next three years who have been involved with the juvenile justice system or are at risk of becoming involved.
“We are very excited about this new opportunity to provide mentoring services in the Franklin County community,” states Mary Ann Gilmer, Vice President of Mission Services for Goodwill Industries of the Valleys. “The partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters enables Goodwill to utilize the evidenced-based mentoring model that Big Brothers Big Sisters utilizes. This type of service is not currently offered in Franklin County and we believe it will help to move the needle on the rising rates of involvement by youth in Franklin County with the juvenile justice system. Big Brother Big Sisters will then evaluate for the effectiveness of the services provided to the youth through the program.”
Goodwill will be looking for 40 adult mentors to act as mentors and foster positive adult relationships with the youth.
Goodwill says that the goal of this program seeks to reduce recidivism among the youth, to improve graduation rates, prevent substance abuse, and lower the rates of teenage pregnancy.
On Wednesday, October 31, 2018, Goodwill will be holding a press conference at 11:00 a.m. to provide more information on the new Youth Mentoring program and benefits that area youth and community at large will see from the program.