January | February 2018

OJJDP Participates in National Mentoring Summit

Alan R. Hanson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs
Alan R. Hanson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, addressed National Mentoring Summit attendees on January 25, 2018. “A committed mentor provides confidence, direction, and a roadmap for achievement and success,” he said. ”A mentor is a coach, a friend, and an inspiration.”
On January 24–26, 2018, nearly 1,000 youth mentoring practitioners, researchers, advocates, philanthropic partners, government and civic leaders, and representatives of national and local youth-serving organizations gathered in Washington, DC, for the National Mentoring Summit.

Hosted by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and supported by OJJDP, the event is held every January as part of National Mentoring Month, an annual campaign to promote youth mentoring in the United States.

Alan R. Hanson, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, discussed the impact that skilled, committed mentors can have on young lives. “We know that adversity early in life often can lead to a host of issues: social problems, academic failure, delinquency and criminal offending, and—perhaps worst of all—a feeling of hopelessness,” he said. “That’s why the job of a mentor is so important. A good mentor is a bridge between a life of struggle and disappointment and a future brimming with opportunity. You should all be proud to be that bridge.”

Mr. Hanson also introduced OJJDP’s new Administrator, Caren Harp, to the attendees and recognized MENTOR for its continued partnership with OJJDP.

OJJDP has long supported mentoring programs, awarding more than $834 million in grants to mentoring organizations from fiscal year (FY) 2008 to FY 2017. The Office’s FY 2017 Mentoring Opportunities for Youth initiative is funding mentoring services for at-risk and high-risk youth in national and multistate mentoring programs, while its Mentoring Research Partners program is supporting research that studies the implementation and impact of the mentoring services OJJDP supports.

The Office’s Mentoring for Child Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Sex Trafficking initiative helps project sites enhance their mentoring capacity, facilitate outreach to child victims or youth at risk, and increase the availability of direct services to these youth. In addition, OJJDP’s Second Chance Act grants fund programs that include mentoring as a component of reentry. These programs are working to strengthen the relationships between young parents and their children as the parents transition from correctional facilities back to their communities.

The summit featured workshops in six areas of focus: research, advocacy, philanthropic partnerships, effective mentor-mentee matches, nonprofit management, and culturally specific practices. The workshops highlighted exemplary program models, collaborations, and innovations that have positive implications for strengthening the mentoring field.

In the workshops "The Research-Informed Practices of the Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program" and “Did the Mentoring Enhancement Demonstration Program Work? Outcome Findings From the Evaluation,” Jennifer Tyson, OJJDP Research Coordinator, joined presenters from American Institutes for Research to discuss how research informed the development of the OJJDP-funded demonstration program and preliminary findings from an impact evaluation. As part of the demonstration program, OJJDP worked with 32 mentoring programs that emphasize advocacy and teaching roles for mentors. In these roles, mentors offer guidance to youth, facilitate youth’s relationships with peers and supportive adults, and connect mentees with appropriate activities and resources.

OJJDP Social Science Analyst Barbara Tatem Kelley co-led the workshop “Partnering With Researchers To Build Evidence for Practice: Is It a Fit for Your Program?” Presenters provided insights gained from OJJDP’s Practitioner-Researcher Partnership Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Demonstration Program to help participants understand the value of large-scale research projects to their programs.

The summit featured more than 100 workshops on a range of topics, including mentoring as a facet of police-community relations, school-based mentoring, mentoring youth in foster care, and cognitive behavioral mentoring.


For more information about OJJDP’s mentoring programs, visit the OJJDP website.

OJJDP’s National Mentoring Resource Center offers a variety of research-based resources, including mentoring model/population reviews, information about promising and effective mentoring programs, and a Measurement Guidance Toolkit to help programs measure outcomes more effectively.