Governor Doug Ducey announced an investment of $1.25 million to support mentorship programs for at-risk youth and training programs for parents of underrepresented families.
“It is crucial that we give our families the resources needed to ensure Arizona’s kids can grow up to lead safe and healthy lives,” said Governor Ducey. “It’s no question that the pandemic brought countless challenges upon our kids. They faced time away from their classrooms, friends, teachers and role models that are so essential to their development, especially in their most formative years. I’m grateful for partners like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Black Mothers Forum for making sure our kids have positive role models and advocates.”
Governor Ducey invested $750,000 in federal funding to help Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Central Arizona create the “The-Time-Is-Now” youth mentorship program, which will serve approximately 550 Arizona kids over a two-year period. Many of these youth live in low-income, vulnerable circumstances. The program will help BBBS expand their existing Big Brothers Big Sisters expand their existing in-school mentoring and college and career readiness programs.
BBBS of Central Arizona provides in-school, community-based and virtual mentoring programs to help at-risk youth reach their full potential. Since 1955, it has served more than 65,000 Arizona kids.
A survey conducted by BBBS found that more than 85 percent of kids who participated in one of their programs improved or maintained their grades, educational expectations and parental trust.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona has been at the forefront of the pandemic, providing life skills and a host of other resources to children in our community,” BBBS of Central Arizona CEO Laura Capello. “We know that in order to continue to thrive, our Littles need all the care and attention we can give to them. Through the new funding from Governor Ducey, we will be able to expand our programming to the most vulnerable youth in our community. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner on meaningful solutions that value every kid out there.”
Governor Ducey also invested $500,000 in federal funding to help Black Mothers Forum expand its parent training program, which helps parents become strong advocates for their families within their communities. This funding will help the organization develop virtual training modules that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which will help them reach parent advocates regardless of their schedules. This training expansion will also host continuing support modules meant to help advocates address emerging issues.
Black Mothers Forum works to take down barriers to academic excellence, stop neighborhood violence and bullying, and improve the mental health and well-being of children and families. It primarily focuses on addressing the safety and welfare of underrepresented children.
“I am grateful to Governor Ducey for supporting our efforts to equip Arizona’s parents and families with useful tools and guidance,” said Black Mothers Forum Founder Janelle Wood. “We are working hard to ensure parents have access to training that covers mental health, academic growth, safety and so much more so they can continue to protect their children and communities. I look forward to ensuring these important services continue to reach families throughout the state.”
On August 17, Governor Ducey announced $64.9 million in state and federal funding for programs that improve K-12 literacy, support adult education and expand teacher professional development.
On October 20, 2021, Governor Ducey attended the Pay It Forward Car Wash, a week-long televised event that raises money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.