Bronx Defenders, a community-oriented public defense office located in the poorest urban congressional district in the nation, is initiating a program to mentor youth at risk of juvenile justice system involvement in the South Bronx. The program aims to enhance young people’s access to positive social networks through the development of supportive relationships with their mentoring teams. The aim is to offer positive outlets through which to cope with challenges, increase high-school retention and graduation rates, and keep mentees out of the juvenile justice system. Attorneys from Bronx Defenders and other legal service organizations will serve as lead mentors, and mentoring teams will also include peer mentors from the community, a social worker, and a family member or caregiver. The inaugural cohort of the program will include thirty young people who will participate in the program for three years.
This grant will provide support for the Robert P. Patterson, Jr. Mentoring Program, named in honor of the Foundation’s former Board chair