BILLINGS – U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme today announced an award of $500,000 to Big Sky Youth Empowerment Project, Inc., as among Department of Justice grants to support mentoring services for youth and to protect children from abuse, exploitation and threats such as sex trafficking. The awards were made by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Office for Victims of Crime, part of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs.
Today’s award in Montana is part of more than $261 million going to organizations and agencies across the country.
“Young people in America face an array of challenges, from social and academic pressures to dangerous predators and lethal drugs. They are better equipped to meet those challenges with a model of care and compassion to guide them along,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “These awards will support outstanding youth-serving organizations like the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs and their local affiliates across the country as they help youth discover their talents, find their purpose and realize their full potential. We are incredibly grateful to our mentorship programs, both nationally and locally. Badges in Blue and Badges for Baseball are great examples of successful community partnerships through law enforcement and mentoring.”
“Being a teenager is hard enough, but many youth are facing risks from substance abuse, homelessness, neglect and mental health issues. Mentoring programs provide vulnerable young adults with the support they need to grow and become productive and contributing members of their communities. I am pleased to announce this award for the Big Sky Youth Empowerment Project,” U.S. Attorney Alme said.
Grants from OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will allow national, state and local organizations to provide mentoring to youth who are at risk of juvenile delinquency, victimization and juvenile justice system involvement. Mentoring programs supported by OJJDP help youth make connections with leaders and respected members of their communities, including law enforcement officers. Police and sheriffs’ departments have formed close and lasting bonds with young citizens, leading to greater trust and respect between law enforcement professionals and community members. Grants also address the impact of the addiction crisis on children and teens. Funds support mentoring in rural and other underserved communities hit hard by the opioid epidemic.
In addition, more than 100 sites are receiving grants from OJJDP and OVC to help find missing children, investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, serve abused and neglected children, and assist minor victims of human trafficking.
The following organization in Montana received funding:
- Big Sky Youth Empowerment Project, Inc., $500,000
More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
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