Huntsville Parks + Recreation secures new $70k youth mentoring grant

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Huntsville Parks & Recreation is the recipient of a prestigious youth mentoring grant. (City of Huntsville)

Huntsville Parks & Recreation announced this week that the department has received a $70,000 youth mentoring grant from the National Recreation and Park Association.

The City of Huntsville’s Parks & Recreation Department is one of only 20 organizations to receive the funds, intended to provide mentoring services for youth impacted by and at risk for substance misuse.

The youth mentoring grant

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The $70,000 award is made possible by the U.S. Department of Justice and runs through September 2025. (City of Huntsville)

This youth mentoring grant is made possible by the U.S. Department of Justice and runs through September 2025. In announcing the grant, the NRPA noted parks and recreation professionals are among the largest providers of youth development services, reaching more than 40 million children annually.

“This grant allows us to expand our Male Mentorship Program. We’ll be able to broaden the program, reach more kids and expose them to even more opportunities.”

James Gossett, director, Parks & Recreation Dept.

The NRPA is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation.

Huntsville’s mentorship program

The Male Mentorship Program launched last fall. (City of Huntsville)

The Male Mentorship Program launched in August 2022. Boys, ages 7-17, form positive social connections, learn character-building skills and enjoy a variety of experiences from sporting events to indoor rock climbing.

Free outings take place monthly during the school year. When the program resumes in August, City Recreation Superintendent Dorianne Johnson said they expect to double the number of youth served from 50 to 100.

“Another exciting part of the grant is the assistance our staff will receive. Mentoring resources, specialized training, it’s about helping these young people realize their full potential in a caring, fun environment.”

Dorianne Johnson, City Recreation Superintendent

To learn more about the Male Mentorship Program or apply to become a mentor, click here.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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