Skip to main content

Senator Specter Announces Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Will Receive $8.6 million for Truancy Prevention

Resource type: News

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America |

Funding from DoJ will reduce truancy, improve academics among underserved youth Washington D.C. Today U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Big Brothers Big Sisters of America a significant grant to enhance its mentoring programs. The $8,615,548 grant, administered through the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, will expand Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Truancy Prevention Mentoring Initiative. Through this grant, Big Brothers Big Sisters aims to positively affect underserved youth throughout the country, with a focus on serving vulnerable and minority children, including those in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and other Pennsylvania communities. I am pleased that the Department of Justice has recognized Big Brothers Big Sisters of America with this grant, Specter said. Mentoring programs are essential to developing our youth and I know Big Brothers Big Sisters will be excellent stewards of this initiative. This grant will help us address an urgent need combating early signs of truancy, a gateway crime that too often leads to more serious offenses, said Judy Vredenburgh, president and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. We are encouraged and energized by the fact that Senator Specter and the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs recognize the relevancy of our evidence-based program and its success with helping kids stay in school. Senator Specter has supported many initiatives to address youth violence and delinquency by facilitating the involvement of a caring adult mentor in the life of every child. Senator Specter has secured nearly $6 million in federal funding for mentoring organizations in Pennsylvania, including Big Brothers Big Sisters. He has convened meetings in communities throughout the Commonwealth, as well as held Judiciary and Appropriations Committee hearings, to examine mentoring and other long-term, community-based solutions to youth violence. Big Brothers Big Sisters helps vulnerable children break negative odds. Its professionally supported volunteer services are proven to reduce children’s risk of dropping out of school, becoming violent, using drugs and alcohol, and falling victim to other negative cycles. Big Brothers Big Sisters and its network of supporters recognize the hardship, pain and challenges children in too many communities confront. Their movement is relevant and there’s an urgent demand for what they achieve. Headquartered in Philadelphia and with nearly 400 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves more than a quarter million children. Learn how you can join the movement to change how children grow up in America by going to

Related Resources


Children & Youth

Global Impact:

United States


BBBS, Big Brothers Big Sisters, mentoring