McGrath, MSPOA, Big Brothers Big Sisters Announce Partnership
HELENA — Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath Wednesday announced the creation of a youth mentoring partnership between the Montana Department of Justice, the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montana.
McGrath said that Justice awarded $108,983 from its $2-million federal Community Oriented Policing grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters to coordinate statewide mentoring activities.
Joining McGrath were Allison Judnich, Executive Director of BBBS Great Falls and Kent Funyak, Cascade County Undersheriff and executive board member of the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. McGrath made the announcement at the Meth Free MT Conference held at the Heritage Inn.
“My years as a county prosecutor showed me that meaningful relationships with adults have a significant impact on a child,” McGrath said. “Mentoring programs like these, directed toward at-risk youth, can make a difference. Working with these youngsters before they start to use drugs or commit serious crimes will make them better citizens.
“MSPOA is to be commended for recognizing a real need in our communities and making the effort to make Montana a better place.”
“Our goal is to provide more at-risk children with positive role models,” Judnich said. “The partnership between MSPOA and Big Brothers Big Sisters will help achieve that goal. In collaboration with MSPOA, we plan to recruit more law enforcement officers to be volunteers, develop a referral system to reach more at-risk youth and implement training for parents and volunteers to increase their knowledge about current issues facing Montana youth.”
“We are excited about the possibilities this partnership will provide,” said Judnich. “We think Montana’s kids and our communities will benefit from this new approach.”