About Us

We are a youth development organization providing at-risk youth with educational, emotional, and spiritual skills for success through long-term mentoring relationships.

We collaborate with individuals and groups in the community to increase awareness of kids' resilience and to support their success. Save Our Youth mentors bring experience, compassion, and time to provide kids a caring advocate by their side.

The History of Save Our Youth

  • 1993

    Denver's "Summer of Violence" devastates families across the city. The crisis prompts pastors, social workers, and others to address the issue collaboratively.

  • 1994

    Mentoring emerges as one way to address the issues plaguing Denver's kids, and Save Our Youth is launched.

  • 2013

    Save Our Youth launches The Master's Apprentice, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit to address the gaps in employment preparation for young men (and now young women too).

  • 2019

    Co-founder Luis Villarreal passes the torch of leadership to new CEO and President Russel Dains.

Staff Members

Well-trained, highly experienced, and eager
to help mentors do great work.



Russel Dains

Chief Executive Officer

Trudy Swain

Chief Operating Officer

Marianne Verdecchio

Office Manager

Dean Millard


Kathrine Vigil

Development/Events Coordinator

Keith McVaney

Education Manager

Angela Maher

Mentoring Program Manager

Lisa Laws

Program Staff Manager

Dan Frederick

Volunteer Recruitment Manager

Amaris Duryea

Mentoring Specialist

Matt Lange

Mentoring Specialist

Darcy Burge

Mentoring Specialist

Board Members

Representing a wide range of industries,
they guide the vision and direction of the organization.

Jeffrey W. Barker

Anton Collins Mitchell LLP

Katherine Broome

Meritage Midstream

Matt Duntsch


Shannon Dreyfuss

Colorado Christian University

Sarah Julianelle

Highlands Health

Rosario Medina

The University of Colorado College of Nursing

Matthew Misegadis

MorningStar Senior Living

Sinahy Ruiz

Ruiz LLC

Lindsey Sittko

Fast Enterprises, LLC