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Huntsville receives $70k grant for youth mentoring program


Huntsville Parks & Recreation is one of only 20 organizations receiving a youth mentoring grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The city of Huntsville in a press release stated the funds intend to aid youth impacted by and at risk for substance abuse.

The $70,000 grant is made possible by the U.S. Department of Justice and runs through September 2025. NRPA reportedthat 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,” said Parks & Recreation Director James Gossett in a press release. “We’ll be able to broaden the program, reach more kids and expose them to even more opportunities.”

The Male Mentorship Program began in August 2022. Huntsville Parks & Recreation said the program helps boys aged seven to 17 form positive social connections, learn character-building skills and enjoy a variety of experiences from sporting events to indoor rock climbing.

Free outings are every month 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,” Johnson said in a press release. “Mentoring resources [and] specialized training [is] about helping these young people realize their full potential in a caring, fun environment.”

To learn more about the Male Mentorship Program or to apply and become a mentor, visit the city of Huntsville's website.

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