About Us

Save Our Youth addresses the development of kids in our program primarily through one-to-one mentoring, where they encounter new experiences, acquire essential skills, and develop relationships.

Mentors regularly take advantage of cultural events in the area and program-wide gatherings, while also enjoying the commonplace experiences of life.

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

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Don Kerns

Director of Operations & Finance

Angela Maher

Program Director

David Craig

Director of Development


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Mark Fordney

Director of Expansion

Marianne Verdecchio

Office Manager

Lisa Laws

Program Staff Manager

Keith McVaney

Donor Relations/Scholars Manager

Kathrine Vigil

Development Manager

Dan Frederick

Volunteer Recruitment Manager

Dean Millard


Matt Lange

Program Administrator

Amaris Mozon

Mentor Recruitment Assistant

Darcy Burge

Mentoring Specialist

Jennifer Torres

Mentoring Specialist

Rob Harris

Mentoring Specialist

Kieva Loftis

Mentoring Specialist


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Alexis Spiegel

Marketing Communications Coordinator

Board Members

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

Katherine Broome

Resource Capital Funds

Shannon Dreyfuss

Colorado Christian University

Sarah Julianelle

Highlands Health & Wellness

Rosario Medina

The University of Colorado College of Nursing

Matthew Misegadis

Bender & Lang

Sinahy Ruiz

Ruiz LLC

Sue-Lin Toussaint

Northeast Region/ Aurora Public Schools

Carolyn Wentz

Littleton Massage & Sports Therapy