Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Federal Funding is "Fickle"

 

February 8, 2018

Youth in The Mentoring Program at Salman River Central pose before a final "goodbye" with long time participant and now mentor, Jada Boyea. Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County is working to find funding to sustain such an impactful and successful program.

Submitted by Abby Langdon, CCE Afterschool Program Coordinator

The Mentoring Program that takes place in the Salmon River school district took a big hit this year. A program that has been funded through the national 4-H council down to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County for the past five years has now ended due to lack of federal funds. Over the five years of operation, the Mentoring Program has worked with 244 youth (mentees) in grades 5 through 8. Several of these program participants returned for two and three consecutive years. Following aging out, a few mentees exhibited qualities to continue beyond that of a mentee and began giving back by taking on the role of a peer mentor.

The Mentoring Program was a nationally recognized program to help create everlasting relationships between at risk youth and older positive role models. The program was targeted to increasing academics and graduation rates of local youth and decreasing juvenile delinquency. Along with the target outcomes of this program came many additional positive outcomes. Such outcomes included increased interest in science and mathematics, social growth, independence, and higher perceived self-esteem.

Youth enrolled in the program have had a tremendous amount of opportunities that otherwise would have never been experienced. From the beginning, to the recent end of the program some opportunities included: attending seminars of successful local high school alumni, activities and speeches at Clarkson University, multiple leadership and team building retreats, career exploration events at Cornell University, and a Leadership Trip to Washington D.C. The program was held from one to three hours a week, mentees and mentors gathered to engage in academic help, educational activities and hands on learning.

The loss of this program is not only devastating to program coordinators but mostly to families and youth who have been a part for several years. The opportunities that were made available through the Mentoring Program were developed through national 4-H and Cornell Cooperative Extension and based on research to better the development of those enrolled. Areas targeted were leadership, academic improvement, family engagement, job readiness, community service, and positive behavior change. All of these areas of youth development are essential for positive growth and success of a community. Many may not fully be aware of the great impact this program has provided.

With the loss of the funding for this program all of the above opportunities will no longer be available at such a degree through CCE for youth in the community. Research shows that ending a program like the Mentoring Program prematurely could be detrimental to youth involved. Cornell Cooperative Extension is currently working diligently and seeking funds to sustain this unbelievably impactful program. For more information visit the CCE website, franklin.cce.conrell.edu, call the office (518)-483-7403 or email Abby Langdon at al2294@cornell.edu.

 

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