CHEVY CHASE, Md., Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has awarded a $7 million grant to National 4-H Council in support of the 4-H National Mentoring Program. The grant comes as a part of the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's national effort to strengthen, expand and implement youth mentoring activities to improve the lives of millions of at-risk and underserved young Americans. This generous grant will provide funding to facilitate 4-H mentoring programs in nearly every state to keep kids safe, improve academic outcomes and prevent youth delinquency. These programs, led by Cooperative Extension and its network of 100 colleges and universities, were developed in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Children, Youth and Families at Risk Program which sparks innovation in community-based educational programs for children, youth, parents and families. According to The Mentoring Effect: Young People's Perspective on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring, 76 percent of at-risk young adults who had a mentor aspire to enroll in and graduate from college versus half of at-risk young adults who had not had a mentor. 1 "With the support of caring adult mentors, 4-H provides the guidance, tools and encouragement young people need to be prepared, confident and ready to tackle the challenges facing their communities, their families, and our nation," said Jennifer Sirangelo, president & CEO, National 4-H Council. "This significant grant will allow 4-H program staff the opportunity to replicate proven 4-H mentoring programs that are producing positive outcomes in underrepresented communities across the country including reduced school drop-out rates and strengthened family relationships." As of 2015, the 4-H National Mentoring Program has served over 40,000 youth, resulting in significant outcomes in areas such as family relationships, perceptions of social support, and social competence.