KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey announced an award of $600,000 in Department of Justice grants to the Knoxville Leadership Foundation to support mentoring services for youth to protect children from abuse, exploitation and threats such as sex trafficking. The awards were made by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Office for Victims of Crime, part of the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs.
“Young people in America face an array of challenges, from social and academic pressures to dangerous predators and lethal drugs. They are better equipped to meet those challenges with a model of care and compassion to guide them along,” said Katharine T. Sullivan, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “These awards will support outstanding youth-serving organizations like the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs and their local affiliates across the country as they help youth discover their talents, find their purpose and realize their full potential. We are incredibly grateful to our mentorship programs, both nationally and locally. Badges in Blue and Badges for Baseball are great examples of successful community partnerships through law enforcement and mentoring.”
“Knoxville Leadership Foundation has been a pillar in our community for 26 years. These funds will help KLF with initiatives like the AMACHI mentoring program. This initiative helps youth remove barriers and provide the skills necessary to cope with the challenge of an incarcerated parent. Putting funding back into our communities and our youth creates a stronger connection within our communities and benefits everyone,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey
“KLF is so honored to partner with the Department of Justice. These funds will mean so much to children of promise in the Knoxville area. The power of a child having healthy adults in their life is proven and our collaborative works hard every day to ensure that thousands of children have these opportunities for a healthy start said,” Chris Martin, President, Knoxville Leadership Foundation.
Today’s award to KLF in the Eastern District of Tennessee is part of more than $261 million going to organizations and agencies across the country. Grants from OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will allow national, state and local organizations to provide mentoring to youth who are at risk of juvenile delinquency, victimization and juvenile justice system involvement. Mentoring programs supported by OJJDP help youth make connections with leaders and respected members of their communities, including law enforcement officers. Police and sheriffs’ departments have formed close and lasting bonds with young citizens, leading to greater trust and respect between law enforcement professionals and community members. Grants also address the impact of the addiction crisis on children and teens. Funds support mentoring in rural and other underserved communities hit hard by the opioid epidemic.
In addition, more than 100 sites are receiving grants from OJJDP and OVC to help find missing children, investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, serve abused and neglected children, and assist minor victims of human trafficking.
More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.