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Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Advance Transformative Credible Messenger Mentoring for Justice-Involved Youth of Color

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $899,929)

Child Trends, in collaboration with the Credible Messenger Mentoring Movement (CM3), proposes to implement the research project entitled, Using Community-Based Participatory Research to Advance Transformative Credible Messenger Mentoring for Justice Involved Youth of Color. The purpose of this project is to assist CM3 in reviewing, clarifying, and refining practices that enable Credible Messenger Mentors and the community-based organizations that employ and support them (i.e., CM3 site providers) to effectively carry out the CM3 model. The project has three complementary goals: 1) Strengthen CM3’s mechanisms to identify, support, and build the capacity of Credible Messenger Mentors; 2) Generate evidence to inform CM3’s evolving Logic Model, Theory of Change, Implementation Guide, and the practices of other Credible Messenger Mentor programs that have a similar target population; and 3) Develop data collection guidelines and instruments that provide a foundation for continued evaluation and improvement of the CM3 model after project completion. Project activities include establishing a Research Steering Committee that includes CM3 provider staff, Credible Messenger Mentors, youth, and family representatives to co-design research instruments and collaboratively engage in interpreting the research findings; collecting data from diverse stakeholders at sites that are implementing the CM3 model to amplify and center community-based knowledge in program improvement; and facilitating discussions that result in actionable recommendations to improve selection, support, and retention of Credible Messenger Mentors. Expected outcomes include Credible Messenger Mentors’ increased sense of being heard and valued as well as their deeper knowledge of the experiences of peers at different sites; greater awareness among CM3 staff and CM3 providers on how to support Credible Messenger Mentors in carrying out their transformative roles for youth and families; CM3’s increased organizational capacity to engage in ongoing evaluation and program improvement; and evidence-based strategies and guidelines that can assist in developing and scaling-up Credible Messenger Mentor programs for justice-involved youth of color in diverse urban contexts. CM3, CM3 site providers, CM3 Credible Messenger Mentors, and the youth and families they serve are the primary intended beneficiaries of the proposed project. Because Credible Messenger Mentors also benefit communities through their positive influence on youth outcomes (e.g., employment, education, health, safety), this project has potential benefits for sites where CM3 is implemented as well. Finally, the lessons learned, and materials produced through this project, will be transferable to other Credible Messenger Mentoring programs, thereby benefiting the juvenile justice and mentoring fields more broadly.  CA/NCF

Date Created: September 20, 2023