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. 

 

 

State

Budget Advocacy

Mentoring Line Item moves to Conference Committee

The Mentoring Matching Grants line item (7061-9634) is a statewide, competitive grant program designed to create and support mentoring matches, and the only state funding dedicated to mentoring. Created in 1999, the line item leverages private funding through a dollar-for-dollar match requirement and is administered by Mass Mentoring Partnership. Over the last 17 years, this investment has supported over 10,000 mentor matches and achieved many positive outcomes for youth, such as improved attitude towards school and classroom behavior, increases in self confidence, self efficacy and positive attitude about the future. The Mentoring Matching Grants is currently funded at $500,000 for FY17 and supports 32 mentoring programs throughout the Commonwealth in their work to collectively match and support over youth with caring adult mentors.

Since the Mentoring Matching Grants Line Item (7061-9634) received $500,000 in the House and $600,000 in the Senate, the line item will go to the Conference Committee, where six legislators will reconcile the difference between the two budgets. Mass Mentoring Partnership is strongly advocating for the conference committee to accept the Senate budget recommendation that would fund the Mentoring Matching Grant at $600,000 for FY18. 

Contact Your Legislators Today! 

Please take a brief moment to contact your local representative and senator today! Ask them to reach out to the conferees requesting they uphold the Senate's recommendation of $600,000 for the Mentoring Matching Grants line item (7061-9634). An increase of $100,000 in the final budget will allow for increased financial support for grantees of the Mentoring Matching Grants.

If you are represented by one or more of the six legislators listed below, you can make this ask directly-

Senate Conference Committee Members:

Chairwoman Karen Spilka (Middlesex and Norfolk Co.) 617-722-1640 or Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov

Vice-Chair Sal DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk Co.) 617-722-1650 or Sal.DiDomenico@masenate.gov

Sen. Vinny DeMacedo (Barnstable Co.) 617-722-1330 or Vinny.deMacedo@masenate.gov

House Conference Committee Members:

Chairman Brian Dempsey (Essex Co.) 617-722-2990 or Brian.Dempsey@mahouse.gov

Vice-Chair Stephen Kulik (Franklin Co.) 617-722-2380 or Stephen.Kulik@mahouse.gov

Rep. Todd Smola (Hampden Co.) 617-722-2100 or Todd.Smola@mahouse.gov

Resources:

For more information or questions, please contact Chelsea Aquino, Manager of Government Relations and Public Policy, at caquino@massmentors.org

Programs Funded Statewide in FY17

Action Centered Tutoring Services (Springfield) - African Community Education (Worcester) - Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MA/Metrowest - Big Brothers Big Sisters Franklin County - Big Brothers Bog Sisters Greater Lowell - Big Brothers Big Sisters Hampden County - Big Brothers Big Sisters Hampshire County - Big Brothers Big Sisters Mass Bay (Cape Cod) - Big Friends Little Friends (Fall River) - Big Friends Litter Friends (Lawrence) - Big Sister Association of Greater Boston - Boston Partners in Education - Brockton Christian Mentoring Initiative - Child Care of the Berkshires - Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (Boston) - Earthen Vessels (Boston) - Falmouth Volunteers in Public Schools - Generations Inc. (Boston) - Girls Inc of Lynn - LUK (Fitchburg/Worcester) - Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters (Greater Boston) - Melrose Alliance Against Violence - Mazie Memorial Foundation Mentoring Program (Waltham/Framingham) - Old Colony YMCA (Brockton) - Partners for Youth with Disabilities (Greater Boston) - Quincy Asian Resources - Railroad Street Youth Project (Great Barrington) - Raw Art Works (Lynn) - Silver Lining Mentoring (Greater Boston) - SMILES (Fall River/New Bedford) - Springfield School Volunteers - Taunton Area School to Career - South Boston TEAM

 

 

Legislation Advocacy

An Act Relative to Dropout Prevention and Recovery

Nearly 1 out of 8 students in Massachusetts will not graduate on time.

At MMP, we are working to elevate policy around the evidenced need for greater social-emotional support in schools as a remedy to high dropout rates. We see graduation coaches as the solution to this prevalent issue, as a constant presence within the school building that can mentor at-risk youth and provide wraparound supports. During the course of the last year, MMP has collected peer to peer data from high school students in the Boston Public School System to support this advocacy effort and public awareness campaign in two ways: through a survey and holding focus groups.

We understand the significant positive impacts of mentoring on two early indicators of high school drop-out, these being high levels of absenteeism and recurring behavior problems in school. Graduation coaches add an additional layer of social and emotional support that is integral to the wellbeing of students across our state. For example, in the U.S. only 56 percent of students who have dropped out report that there was a school staff person they could go to about school problems. Youth in developmental relationships are less likely to skip school, present better attitudes and behaviors at school, and are more likely to attend college than their peers.

Learn More: 

Join the conversation using #StudentsNeedSES

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

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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.