TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced the investment of an additional $1 million to enhance and expand mentoring services for Florida’s youth. This investment further builds upon $12.8 million in mentorship funding at the Department of Children and Families as well as the recent expansion of First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Hope Florida initiative to the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office.
“Investing in mentorship is an investment in Florida’s future and one that will empower and strengthen the next generation,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Mentoring isn’t just about providing guidance to young people; it’s about unlocking their unique potential and helping them build skills and resilience that will shape them as our emerging leaders in Florida and our country.”
“I want to thank First Lady Casey DeSantis for her leadership and unwavering support of our work to expand mentorship opportunities for Florida’s youth,” said Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Eric Hall. “As we embark on our mission to ensure a stronger, safer Florida, we recognize the transformative impact mentors have on young lives. Mentors help instill confidence and a sense of purpose in youth, giving them hope and paving the way for a brighter, more promising tomorrow.”
The One Mentor, One Child initiative was launched last year with the goal of building a statewide mentoring network to serve Florida’s youth in their local communities. Since that time, the need for mentors has increased and this targeted investment will allow more youth to be matched with dedicated mentors who can serve as positive role models in their lives.
This additional funding will enhance and expand mentoring services among seven organizations that DJJ has partnered with through the One Mentor, One Child initiative. These organizations include Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Florida, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation in Duval County, Marion County Children’s Alliance, Unity Family Community Center in Levy County, Girls of Transformation Mentoring Program in Miami-Dade County, Character GPS in Hillsborough County, and the Center 4 Change in St. Lucie County.
For more information about the One Mentor, One Child initiative, visit DJJ’s website here.