Advocacy

Advocacy.jpgMentoring and youth development programs’ voices are vital in helping Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP)  raise awareness about the role that empowering youth-adult relationships play in addressing systemic social problems and garner support at the local, state and federal levels of government. By familiarizing yourself with the steps of the state budget process, learning about policies and initiatives related to mentoring, and building relationships with your community’s legislators and other public officials, you can play a critical role in ensuring that the needs of the field are heard – and met.

Watch a video featuring The Hyams Foundation, an honoree at our 2015 Champions of Mentoring event.

State -- Legislation Advocacy

Mass Mentoring Partnership’s priority bill, House 4011, An Act Relative to Dropout Prevention, calls on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop and administer a 3-year pilot program for dropout prevention and recovery programs for school districts with annual dropout rates greater than the state average.

A key component of this bill includes graduation coaches, professionals with youth development and academic support expertise providing the target population with graduation plans including academic, career, and postsecondary goals. Graduation coaches shall also provide follow-up support to complete the graduation plans, navigate academic requirements, engage families, overcome socio-emotional barriers and secure appropriate social services. 

We know that mentoring has a significant impact on two early indicators of high school drop-out: high levels of absenteeism and recurring behavior problems in school. Youth in mentoring relationships are less likely to skip school and are more likely to present better attitudes and behaviors at school and attend college than their peers.

For every dollar spent on empowering youth mentoring relationships, there is a return of $2.72 through projected increases in lifetime earnings and dollars saved through reduced juvenile delinquency and crime, and youth engagement in risky behaviors such as drug, alcohol and tobacco use

We need your help advocating for the release of H.4011 from the House Ways and Means Committee!

Call or email the chair and vice chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee and ask them to release H.4011 from their committee!

Chairman Dempsey: 617-722-2990, Brian.Dempsey@mahouse.gov

Vice Chairman Kulik: 617-722-2380, Stephen.Kulik@mahouse.gov

View our bill fact sheet here. For any additional questions, contact MMP’s Manager of Government Relations and Public Policy Chelsea Aquino at caquino@massmentors.org.

State -- Budget Advocacy

On January 25, 2017, Governor Baker filed his budget proposal for FY18, which included level funding for the Mentoring Matching Grants at $500,000. Though we did not see increased funding, we appreciate the Governor's commitment to financially support mentoring through this line item. This is only the beginning of the state's budgeting process which goes through the end of June, but we are determined to see increases in the House and Senate budgets, and will need your help to do so!
 
MMP will continue to mobilize our champions in the House and Senate to achieve the increase in funding for the Mentoring Matching Grants to $750,000. We are counting on our affiliated mentors, mentees, program staff and volunteers to contact their legislators to ensure the Mentoring Matching Grants Line Item can provide critical resources for youth mentoring programs to make new matches, take youth off waiting lists for mentors, and support current mentoring relationships, greatly impacting the lives of young people across the state. 
 
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2017 Resources

General Resources

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National

Massachusetts Mentoring Agenda

In an effort to both educate the Massachusetts congressional delegation on the national priorities of the youth mentoring field in Massachusetts and rally their support, Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) drafted the Massachusetts Mentoring Agenda. The Massachusetts Mentoring Agenda, which was adapted from the national legislative priorities established by MENTOR, urges each member of the delegation to:

  • Advocate for policies and funding approaches that expand quality mentoring in Massachusetts
  • Support funding for juvenile mentoring grants in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the $100 million level
  • Co-sponsor the Child Protection Improvements Act
  • Support the inclusion of mentoring in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
  • Become a champion for youth mentoring by joining the House Mentoring Caucus, and supporting commemorations of National Mentoring Month each January

Child Protection Improvements Act

The Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA) has passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee and now faces the Senate Floor action. Visit the MENTOR website for more information.