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Pair Up, Lift up!


The Noah Project is based on the highly successful XLP program that provides mentors for inner city youth in London, England. In its initial inception, the Noah Project was established to match youth in detention with a mentor and for the mentee/mentor relationship to continue once the mentee returned home to the community.

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In 2019, The Noah Project was awarded a Youth Reinvestment Grant to expand a pilot a program to reduce the disparate entry and deeper advancement of youth of color in the juvenile justice system.


In place of a referral to the school resource officer (SRO), and where appropriate, students are referred to the Noah Project to be matched with a mentor. Every effort is made to match the student with a culturally relevant mentor.

Eligibility criteria includes all lower level crimes, including some lower level felonies for example:

  • Marijuana use and/or possession on school grounds Vandalism

  • Theft

  • Weapons on campus (no firearms)

  • Bullying

  • Fighting (no rape or major physical assault)

Decades of research by the Search Institute led to identification of a Positive Youth Development Framework called The 40 Developmental Assets which are the building blocks all youth need to grow up healthy and thrive. A mentor is one of those Assets and youth with non-parent adults who care about them, support them, and challenge them are less likely to engage in dangerous behaviors and more likely to make positive choices.


Professional soccer player Ian Wright, and his elementary school teacher Sidney Pigden, are a beautiful example of the lasting impact a mentoring relationship can make in a young person’s life.

Here are two more examples of the difference a mentor has made in the lives of young people.

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