Cloquet R.E.A.C.H. Mentoring Program receives grant to continue work with youth
The R.E.A.C.H. Mentoring Program is honored to be the recipient of the Restorative Justice Fundraising Donation of $3,500. The objective of the MCF-Moose Lake Restorative Justice Program is to contribute to a safer Minnesota by providing core correctional care, changing offender behavior, holding offenders accountable and restoring justice for victims. A large area of what the R.E.A.C.H. Mentoring Program is accomplishing coincides with their mission.
R.E.A.C.H. is a nonprofit agency providing mentoring programs for the youth of Carlton County with partnerships with local school districts and the juvenile court system. R.E.A.C.H's goal is to identify youth who are facing a turbulent transition to adulthood and offer a positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives. We are committed to our young people with this program that promotes pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, and reasserts a sense of hope in the future.
Our youth participants are: (1) entangled in the juvenile court system, or (2) experiencing a deficient education with life-long consequences, or (3) simply experiencing some life barriers. Moreover, our youth are victims of adult unemployment, drugs, mental, physical, and emotional abuse, felony crime and incarceration and neglect. To combat this home-life deficit, and the loss of faith our youth have in the community, the R.E.A.C.H. Program brings together community leaders as mentors, and youth who have committed crimes or have been victims of crime to develop a relationship in a caring, inclusive learning environment that promotes their best effort and reinforces personal respect.
The R.E.A.C.H. program works with elementary, middle and high school youth though focuses primarily on middle school students as this age group is particularly vulnerable to crime and other inappropriate behaviors and is a perfect time for structured mentoring to be effective. Many youth who participate are placed in the program by social workers, probation officers, mental health professionals, and family school support advocates. Youth are matched with a caring adult volunteer or peer mentor who is trained to focus on positive reinforcement, trust building, and the achievement of goals, by engaging youth in one-on-one outing and group adventures in the community. Our mentors take their mentees out in the community to participate in activities and build a greater bond with one another and their community.
To ensure our mentors are able to meet the challenges of mentoring victims or at-risk youth, R.E.A.C.H. provides its mentors with on-going training throughout the year and participates in monthly meetings to report on the young person's progress. Currently, R.E.A.C.H. has 86 youth participating in the program and we hope to add another 50 youth in the 2011-2012 school year.
Mission statement: "We provide opportunities for youth, at-risk or experience life barriers, to build self-esteem, meaningful relationships and a sense of belonging within themselves, their families, and the community."
We would like to thank all of those who were involved in the fundraising efforts, selection process, and presentation in order to make this happen.
For information: http://www.reachmentoringprogram.com or