Goodwill Industries of the Valleys understands the impact that positive adult role models can have on youth in the community. At a time when Franklin County is seeing an increase in the involvement of youth with the juvenile justice system, Goodwill, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia, will begin offering Youth Mentoring to more individuals between the ages of 12 and 17.
The new mentoring services are possible thanks to a grant received by Goodwill from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) for nearly $475,000. The grant will allow Goodwill to serve 105 youth over the next three years who have been involved with the juvenile justice system or are at risk of becoming involved.
“We are very excited about this new opportunity to provide mentoring services in the Franklin County community,” states Mary Ann Gilmer, Vice President of Mission Services for Goodwill Industries of the Valleys. “The partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters enables Goodwill to utilize the evidenced based mentoring model that Big Brothers Big Sisters utilizes. This type of service is not currently offered in Franklin County and we believe it will help to move the needle on the rising rates of involvement by youth in Franklin County with the juvenile justice system. Big Brother Big Sisters will then evaluate for the effectiveness of the services provided to the youth through the program.”
Goodwill will be seeking 40 adult mentors to act as mentors and foster positive adult relationships with the youth. The program seeks to reduce recidivism among the youth, to improve graduation rates, prevent substance abuse, and lower the rates of teenage pregnancy.
For more information on the Goodwill Youth Mentoring programs, including the new program in Franklin County, click HERE.
Goodwill Industries of the Valleys serves 31 counties and 13 cities in the New River, Roanoke, and Shenandoah Valleys. Its mission is to help people and families in our community achieve a better life through work and independence. In 2017, Goodwill assisted nearly 45,000 individuals with barriers to success, helped 3,494 people find jobs in our community, and provided training opportunities that resulted in more than 1,300 credentials being earned by individuals participating in Goodwill programs. As of the end of September, Goodwill had assisted more than 34,000 individuals in 2018.