CITY OF WACO, TX
Mayor Michael D. Morrison

COMMUNITY MENTORING FOR ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT

Community Mentoring for Adolescent Development (CMAD), a project of Baylor University provides a comprehensive mentoring initiative through the nationally recognized "Lighted School." Baylor University continues as a full partner in the community-based initiative comprised of the McLennan County Youth Collaboration/Communities in Schools, Inc., schools, businesses, and social services. CMAD's primary focus is reduction of the over-representation-of minority preadolescents entering the Juvenile Justice System. Junior high age youth on five WISD middle school campuses are served. CMAD addresses the value of good citizenship, the importance of staying in school and improving academic performance, the development of self-esteem,, appropriate social values, and self-accountability.

Target Population

CMAD impacts at-risk middle school children, ages 12-14, who exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Two or more grades behind in school;
  • Emerging sexual behavior, early parenting;
  • Comes from a home where one or both parents did not finish school;
  • Discipline problems, detention, suspension;
  • Economically disadvantaged;
  • Drug or alcohol abuse by youth or parents;
  • Unable to get along with teachers;
  • Outside employment competes with schoolwork
  • Truant
  • Comes from welfare or single-parent household;
  • Criminal justice offender;
  • Struggling with a language barrier; or a Has emotional or physical disabilities.

Program Design

  • Mentors are matched with middle school students participating the project with their family's approval. Focusing on the benefits of effective communication skills, the ability to resolve conflicts, and the value of a strong family unit, mentors assist at-risk youth from inner-city neighborhoods experiencing increased gang activity and violent crime.
  • Baylor University will continue to administer the successful three-tiered program composed of:
  • two training courses providing mentors for a minimum of 100 at-risk children and their parents and/or guardians.
  • 100 comprehensive training manuals (available in Spanish).
  • A total of 4,400 youth-oriented newsletters, produced biannually by a team of mentees and mentors, suggesting positive alternatives, healthy activities, and existing community services.

Evaluation

Since CMAD's inception, approximately 50,000 hours of volunteer service have been given by 180 Baylor University mentors serving over 350 at-risk middle school youth and their families.

Each year, pre-and-post observations are made of middle school participants in CMAD. The measures are in the following areas: School Attendance, Gang Involvement, Academic Performance, Delinquent Behavior, Conduct, and Effectiveness of Training Program. A positive impact on the lives of at-risk children and their families in McLennan county and reduction of the over-representation of minority pre-adolescents in the juvenile justice system is indicated by statistics for 1996-1997. CMAD participants exhibited a 76% increase in students with good attendance, 84% increase in students passing in their classwork, 60% decrease in students who were suspended from school, 82% increase in students who followed schools rules, and a 78% decrease in experimentation with alcohol or other drugs.

CMAD will continue to decrease juvenile crime impacting the lives of at-risk youth and their families. In partnership with the Governor's office, CMAD will continue to improve outcomes for children and enrich the community.

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