Support Mentoring!


Support mentoring by contacting your local representative today!

At FRIENDS FIRST, so much of what we do depends on federal funding. This month, the White House released a budget proposal to Congress that recommends significant cuts to federal domestic programs. These decisions will greatly impact our work educating and mentoring teens in Colorado and across the U.S. As the House and Senate Appropriations committees work to form budgets for Fiscal Year 18, Congress will decide what level the Youth Mentoring Grant is funded.

This grant represents the only mentoring-specific federal dollars available. Any cuts to the Youth Mentoring Grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention would be devastating to our work and the work of many other youth serving organizations across the country. The Youth Mentoring Grant funds seven of our STARS mentoring programs in Colorado as well as seven STARS programs run by our partner organizations in other states. Our community trainings, parent engagement workshops, school assemblies and our annual STARS Summer Leadership Mentor Training rely on funding from OJJDP. This year marks the 20th year of our STARS Summer Leadership Mentor Training, and each summer the event brings 250-300 teens together to learn how to avoid high risk behaviors, gain leadership skills and celebrate mentoring. The loss of this funding would force us to cancel or considerably reduce how many programs and events we provide to the more than 7,000 teens parents, and community members we serve in a year.

We believe everyone has been impacted by mentoring at some point in their lives, and research shows that our work sets up teens to succeed in school and prepares them to find success after they leave those hallways and enter the real world.

So, we are asking for your help.

Please select your local elected Colorado official from the list below, and copy and paste the messaging we’ve provided on this page to call or email your representative and share why you believe the Youth Mentoring Grant should be funded in full for FY18. If you would like, you can also add your own personal story about your experience with FRIENDS FIRST or simply why mentoring is important to you.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to discuss this issue further, please give us a call at 720.981.9193.

As always, we thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Elycia Cook Executive Director

Contact your Colorado representative

Please feel free to copy and paste these examples and use them when contacting your elected official by following this link

EXAMPLES:

Sample message for parents Dear [representative name],

I’m writing on behalf of FRIENDS FIRST in response to the proposed cuts to the Department of Justice because these budget reductions would have harmful effects on young people and mentoring in our community. I believe that an investment in mentoring teens is an investment in our country’s future. FRIENDS FIRST is a Denver nonprofit that has emerged as a local leader in educating and mentoring teens, working with 7,000 teens annually. FRIENDS FIRST operates their STARS peer-to-peer mentoring programs in 30 schools across Colorado and they have partners in eight states that run the STARS program for even more teens across the country. STARS was started by FRIENDS FIRST in 1996 as a peer-to-peer mentoring program in which adult FRIENDS FIRST staff mentor older high school students who in turn mentor younger high school and middle school students. High school mentors are equipped with leadership skills through weekly meetings with their adult STARS coordinators. My child was involved in STARS, and I saw the difference that experience made in areas such as being more engaged at school, avoiding high-risk behaviors, and positive thinking about their future.

I ask you to please support funding in full for the Youth Mentoring Grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, [Name]

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Sample message for community members

Dear [representative name],

I’m writing on behalf of FRIENDS FIRST in response to the proposed cuts to the Department of Justice because these budget reductions would have harmful effects on young people and mentoring in our community. I believe that an investment in mentoring teens is an investment in our country’s future. FRIENDS FIRST is a Denver nonprofit that has emerged as a local leader in educating and mentoring teens, working with 7,000 teens annually. FRIENDS FIRST operates their STARS peer-to-peer mentoring programs in 30 schools across Colorado and they have partners in eight states that run the STARS program for even more teens across the country. STARS was started by FRIENDS FIRST in 1996 as a peer-to-peer mentoring program in which adult FRIENDS FIRST staff mentor older high school students who in turn mentor younger high school and middle school students. High school mentors are equipped with leadership skills through weekly meetings with their adult STARS coordinators.

[Optional: “How mentoring has impacted me”] Please fund in full the Youth Mentoring Grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Thank you for your time. Sincerely,

[Name]

#SupportMentoring #Impactsofmentoring #MentorLife #mentorlife #FRIENDSFIRST

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