U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) recently announced that the Northland-based charity Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Central Ohio was awarded $500,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) recently announced that the Northland-based charity Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Central Ohio was awarded $500,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The funds were made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and will expand the association's Project Mentor youth mentoring efforts in partnership with Columbus City Schools.

Project Mentor will support 2,400 students annually by 2011-2012. According to the Department of Justice, programs like Project Mentor lead to measurable, positive outcomes for at-risk youth, including an increased high school graduation rate.