FY 2018 Youth Mentoring Set-Aside

Dear Colleague Letter 18-06

Publication Date: October 1, 2018

Date: September 28, 2018

Dear Colleague:

ORR is pleased to announce a new Refugee Support Services (RSS) Youth Mentoring (YM) “Set-Aside” for Fiscal Year 2018.  This letter specifies formulation and allocation details and will be a supplement to an upcoming Youth Mentoring Policy Letter which will identify program goals, eligibility, and reporting and monitoring requirements. 

Many refugee youth and young adults (henceforth referred to as refugee youth) arrive to the United States after protracted periods of displacement in, or proximate to, conflict zones.  As a result, they have often suffered or witnessed trauma, been victims of violence, and experienced the loss of, or separation from, family members, homes and communities.  Refugee youth arrive with unique individual strengths, aspirations, and dreams for their futures; however, the nature of their refugee experience can hinder integration into the local community.  Refugee youth may arrive to the United States with limited English proficiency and often without social connections or family ties.  These challenges can frequently perpetuate feelings of isolation, insecurity, and powerlessness. Access to formal education by refugee youth prior to arrival varies greatly, and many have had little or no experience in classroom or vocational support settings.  Some refugee youth may have completed education or training certifications in their country of origin but this achievement may not transfer to the United States.  As an alternative to school enrollment, refugee youth who are beyond the age of compulsory school enrollment may be encouraged to pursue their GED or a vocational pathway but do not have the individual support they need to pursue these options in their new communities.  

Without adequate social support to encourage integration into their new communities and to advance their educational and vocational goals, some refugee youth may become disillusioned about their future, and may engage in anti-social behavior and activity or become at-risk for depression or social isolation.  Connecting refugee youth to caring and supportive members of their community can provide invaluable support as they adjust to their communities and learn to identify, and strive to achieve, their educational or vocational goals, ultimately facilitating integration and economic self-sufficiency.  

To ensure a positive path towards social and economic integration, ORR has prioritized the formulation of a Youth Mentoring Set-Aside program.  The primary goals of this program are to 1) promote positive civic and social engagement and to 2) support individual educational and vocational advancement.

FY 2018 Allocations
To support this initiative, ORR is providing a one-time RSS set-aside allocation.  The FY 2018 allocations to states, Wilson-Fish programs, and replacement designees are based on the number of ORR-eligible individuals ages 15-24 who were served by the state in the previous fiscal year (FY 20171) as reported in the ORR-5 and that was verified against the ORR Refugee Arrivals Data System (RADS). 

States that received over 90 ORR-eligible individuals between the ages of 15-24 qualify for funding. The chart below documents the number of eligible served populations by each state in FY 2017 and the corresponding funding allocations for the YM program for FY 2018.  The proposed allocations are based on availability of federal funding and will be included in the 4th quarter FY 2018 Refugee Support Services allocation as a “set-aside.”

ORR may consider the continuance of this set-aside in future fiscal years, based on the availability of federal funding and the priorities of the ORR Director.  As required under ORR regulation §400.210, these funds must be obligated by September 30, 2019 and must be liquidated by September 30, 2020.

State  Total Served Allocation
Florida 4,335 $800,000.00
Texas 2,452 $650,000.00
California 2,406 $650,000.00
New York 1,036 $553,986.00
Washington 792 $423,511.00
Virginia 729 $389,822.00
Arizona 678 $362,551.00
Ohio 663 $354,530.00
Michigan 636 $340,092.00
North Carolina 503 $268,972.00
Georgia 496 $265,229.00
Kentucky 478 $255,604.00
Pennsylvania 463 $247,583.00
Illinois 446 $238,492.00
Maryland 413 $220,846.00
Minnesota 374 $199,991.00
Colorado 367 $196,248.00
Massachusetts 363 $194,109.00
Missouri 313 $167,372.00
Nebraska 290 $155,073.00
Tennessee 271 $144,913.00
Oregon 261 $139,566.00
Nevada 218 $116,572.00
Indiana 217 $116,038.00
Wisconsin 213 $113,900.00
Utah 186 $100,000.00
Iowa 177 $100,000.00
New Jersey 172 $100,000.00
Idaho 144 $100,000.00
Connecticut 118 $75,000.00
Kansas 115 $75,000.00
North Dakota 101 $75,000.00
New Hampshire 92 $75,000.00
Maine 90 $75,000.00
Total 20,608 $8,340,000.00

Other states not funded:

State Total Served
South Dakota 76
Rhode Island 56
Oklahoma 53
Louisiana 52
New Mexico 44
South Carolina 41
Vermont 41
District Of Columbia 27
Arkansas 24
Alabama 16
Mississippi 15
Alaska 13
Montana 6
West Virginia 6
Delaware 5
Hawaii 0

Explanation of Allocations
Allocations fall into the following tiers: 1) a max tier for states that served over 1,100 eligible individuals that was further broken down to 1,101-4,000 ($650,000) and more than 4,000 ($800,000); 2) a per capita tier for states that served between 201-1,100 eligible individuals; and 3) a floor tier for states that served between 90-200 eligible individuals, that was further broken down to 90-139 individuals ($75,000) and 140-200 individuals ($100,000).

Please direct any questions about this Dear Colleague Letter to your ORR Regional Representative.  We also encourage you to utilize ORR’s Technical Assistance provider(s) for additional resources on serving refugees.

We appreciate all of your work to support newly arriving populations over the course of the past year and trust that this allocation will benefit these efforts and the refugee youth that you serve.

E. Scott Lloyd, Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement


1. October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017.


Current as of: