The Amachi Mentoring program provides one-to-one mentoring for youth ages 6–14 whose parents or family members are incarcerated or recently released from the prison system. Through mentoring the program aims to break the cycle of incarceration and encourage positive behaviors in its participants.
Youth engage in mentoring relationships established primarily through partnerships with school districts, faith-based organizations, nonprofit partnerships, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Prison Fellowship and Re-Entry programs across Texas.
Proven Dropout Prevention Strategy
The Texas Education Agency focuses state and federal resources on identifying and replicating proven strategies for dropout prevention. The United State Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences Dropout Prevention practice guide states that providing adult advocates is an effective strategy for pursuing a future of success. Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) conducted independent research showing the impact of mentoring on student outcomes. The BBBS Amachi Mentoring Program focuses on three components:
- Reducing juvenile delinquency
- Improving educational achievement and promotion through high school graduation
- Enhancing personal and social well-being
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Texas (BBBS–NT) implements the Amachi mentoring program and subcontracts with ten BBBS programs throughout Texas to provide mentoring for children of incarcerated adults.
2,491 youth were mentored in FY2012:
- 726 youth represent new matches.
- 80 percent of the matches were sustained for at least 6 months.
- 59 percent of the matches were sustained for 12 months.
- 99.8 percent of students served were satisfied with the program, based on 1442 surveys that were completed.
- 96.5 percent of the mentors were satisfied with the mentoring experience, based on 1526 surveys that were completed.
- 23 community partnerships were established to assist with meeting program goals.
Student outcomes for the 2,727 youth served during the 2010-2011 school year, BBBS reported:
- 98 percent were promoted to the next grade.
- 98.7 percent avoided involvement with the criminal justice system.
- 95.6 percent remained in school without placement in an alternative education program.
The following are yearly funds provided to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF):
- FY2008 - $2,500,000
- FY2009 - $2,500,000
- FY2010 - $2,500,000
- FY2011 - $2,500,000
- FY2012 - $1,250,000
- FY2013 - $1,250,000
Laws and Rules
Laws and rules concerning the Amachi Mentoring program:
- General Appropriations Act, Article III, Rider 65, 82nd Texas Legislature, 2011
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Plan