Dare Mighty Things wins OJJDP Research Grant for Youth Initiated Mentoring


September 2013 - Dare Mighty Things is part of team of heavy-hitters in the field of mentoring, recently awarded a Mentoring Best Practices Research Grant through the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The research team, led by Professors Jean Rhodes (UMass Boston) and Renee Spencer (Boston University) will conduct research on "Youth Initiated Mentoring: An innovative approach to mentoring at-risk youth."

Dare Mighty Things, a management consulting firm led by David Van Patten, is proud of its involvement with Dr. Rhodes' team as DMT provides years of depth and breadth of experience in Youth Initiated Mentoring (YIM). YIM is a core part of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program (NGYCP) that DMT has supported for more than twenty years. Additional members of the mentoring grant research team include Lawrence Bernstein (Principal Consultant, Data Smarts, LLC) and Tammy Tai (Chief Operating Officer, MENTOR).

A recent evaluation of NGYCP suggested that long-lasting YIM relationships are associated with strong program outcomes (Schwartz, Rhodes, & Grossman, 2013). As such, YIM has the potential to redress two significant challenges associated with the relatively modest outcomes experienced by many youth mentoring programs; high levels of volunteer attrition and long-wait lists due to difficulties recruiting appropriate volunteers. The research afforded through this grant award will allow the team to more clearly identify factors accounting for high quality, enduring, and effective YIM relationships, prior to disseminating this promising strategy to programs serving at-risk youth.

Dare Mighty Things, Inc. (DMT), a Portsmouth-based, veteran-owned business, founded by Van Patten in 1991, assists clients in launching social ventures that impact high risk populations. DMT provides training and consulting services to over 3000 public and not for profit agencies, helping them launch and grow national mentoring programs, leadership development programs, educational initiatives, and correctional programs. DMT operates the National Challenge Institute and provides state of the art training to thousands of social service providers and youth workers each year from its facilities in Portsmouth, NH and Arlington, VA. Visit our website to learn more.


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