Amid Budget Cuts, Central Massachusetts-Based LUK Mentoring Program Level-Funded for FY2018

Mass Mentoring Partnership closes gap for Mentoring Matching Grant line item by $25,000

Fitchburg – LUK Mentoring Program was spared a 5% cut from their FY18 Mentoring Matching Grant award last month. Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), a statewide organization fueling the movement to expand empowering youth-adult relationships across Massachusetts, used private funds to close a gap of the state’s final FY18 budget cutting the Mentoring Matching Grants from $500,000 to $475,000. Through the use of private operational funds, MMP was able to close the funding gap. LUK Mentoring is one of 32 mentoring programs throughout the Commonwealth to receive a Mentoring Matching Grant award for the FY2017-18 cycle.

Serving as the only state funding dedicated to mentoring, the Mentoring Matching Grants line item (7061-9634) is a competitive grant program designed to create and support mentoring matches. Over the last 17 years, this investment has supported over 10,000 mentor matches and in 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. This funding has been helpful in increasing LUK’s ability to offer training opportunities and increase the number of matches.  

“There are already a large number of youth waiting for mentors,” says Hilary Amedy, LUK’s Mentoring Program Coordinator. “This funding is incredibly important because it allows us to do additional outreach and make more matches than we would be able to otherwise.”

Mass Mentoring Partnership believes that every young person has the right to access high-quality developmental relationships, and it is the responsibility of stakeholders in communities across the Commonwealth to help meet the needs of youth. In this two-year grant cycle, Mass Mentoring Partnership will continue to build relationships with legislators in the House and the Senate to raise visibility on the importance of this funding.

“The state has cut critical funds to mentoring,” MMP President and CEO, Marty Martinez, said. “We had to step up to make sure that more youth do not end up on wait lists like the thousands of young people from Boston to the Berkshires who are already in need.”

To learn more about the Mentoring Matching Grants line item, please visit: massmentors.org/advocacy.

About LUK, Inc.

LUK, Inc. is a nonprofit multiservice agency dedicated to improving the safety, health, and emotional well-being of youth, families and adults. As a community based organization, LUK offers an array of child and family services through five regional offices in Central Massachusetts: Fitchburg, Lowell, Webster, and Worcester. LUK’s mission is to improve the lives of children, families, and adults so that they can fulfill their unique and productive potential.

About Mass Mentoring Partnership

Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) is fueling the movement to expand empowering youth-adult relationships to meet the needs of communities across Massachusetts. MMP serves more than 250 programs statewide supporting over 33,000 youth in quality relationships. We work with mentoring programs and youth development organizations to assess programmatic needs and organizational capacity to provide customized strategies that strengthen youth, families, and communities.   www.massmentors.org

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