WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the Department of Justice (DoJ) has awarded $5 million to the National 4H Council based in Chevy Chase Maryland. The funds will be routed to local 4-H Club affiliates to strengthen and expand mentoring programs for underserved youth.
“This grant to the 4-H Council will enable the organization to expand its mentoring programs for at risk youth, helping them succeed in the future,” said Senator Cardin. “The Maryland-based 4-H Council maintains one of our nation’s leading youth development programs and its long history of providing support to our nation’s youth has made it possible for many young people to overcome difficult circumstances and become productive members of our society. “
“Mentoring programs provide at-risk youth an alternative to drugs and crime, and help set them on the path for a successful future,” said Senator Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee which funds DOJ. “These funds in the federal checkbook will help Maryland-based 4-H provide excellent social, cultural and educational opportunities to youth in our underserved communities. Smart investments in our children today gives them hope and opportunity to become leaders of tomorrow.”
This grant will fund three programs nationwide, 4-H Mentoring: Youth and Families with Promise, 4-H Tech Wizards and 4-H LIFE. These three programs will serve 10,000 youths ages 7-17, many of whom come from underserved populations. The funds will be used to improve outcomes for military children, children of incarcerated parents, Tribal youth, African Americans and Latino youth by providing one-on-one group and peer mentoring services.
In Maryland, similar grants in the past have allowed for programs to be established in six counties, those programs consisted of around 180 mentees and 50 mentors. The University of Maryland has been a partner in implementing 4-H programs across the state.