Seven years ago, IEL created a STEM- and career-focused mentoring program model for transition-age youth with disabilities involved or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), IEL’s Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) uses a combination of group, peer, and one-to-one mentoring to promote the successful transition from school to work. RAMP is implemented through local organizations with expertise in mentoring, youth development, juvenile justice, and disability.
DOJ recently awarded IEL its fifth RAMP grant, this one for $3 million. These funds will enable IEL to continue and expand the program. Over the next three years, current and new mentoring sites will serve 1,400 at-risk youth with disabilities. Some sites will focus on specific populations, such as youth with autism, youth with fetal alcohol syndrome, and youth in the foster care system.
To date, more than 2,600 teenage youth have benefited from RAMP and shown positive outcomes. Ninety-six percent of program participants stayed in school, 91% completed the program, 75% improved school attendance, and 80% increased social support, and only nine percent offended or reoffended.
At the end of this funding cycle, IEL will have created a decade’s worth of evidence about how to improve outcomes for at-risk transition-age youth with disabilities.
Learn more about IEL’s portfolio of work related to youth with disabilities through the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth.