Save our Youth Blog

The Collaborative Journey

2019 has been a year of transition and celebration for us. Our CEO Russel Dains is wrapping up his first full year at the helm, and, just a few weeks ago, we honored the legacy established by our founder Luis Villarreal. Such a time has been a fitting occasion to reflect on our history and … Continued

New Leadership at Save Our Youth

Dear Friends of Save Our Youth, On behalf of the Save Our Youth Board of Directors, it is a privilege to announce Mr. Russel Dains as the new President & Chief Executive Officer of Save Our Youth. At the beginning of 2018, Luis Villarreal informed us of his desire to pass the baton onto a new leader. … Continued

Passing the Baton

Because of SOY mentors, many struggling youth in 2018 received the needed emotional, spiritual and educational support to encourage their lives. God designed children and youth to be “innately wired to connect” with others, particularly caring adults like mentors to guide them. SOY’s ministry of mentoring has changed the direction and trajectory of many young … Continued

#connection: Expanding our Social Capital

“Where you live and whom you know – the social capital you can draw on – helps to define who you are and thus to determine your fate.” ~ Dr. Robert Putnam The building blocks of connection, per Dr. Michael Karcher (   The Executive Director of Save Our Youth often says kids are a … Continued

Money in Mentoring

      Money can be a game-changer. The earlier it is introduced and the more of it in a relationship, the more potent it might well be. We have written elsewhere about power dynamics in mentoring, reminding you of just how influential mentors are (not merely “can be”) in the relationship. Well, money can … Continued

Mentoring with Strengths in Mind

         Mentoring can be hard work. Managing cross-cultural dynamics and bridging age and generational gaps present formidable challenges on their own. Add to that the steep learning curve of entering the world of a child in poverty and things begin to look a little daunting. With the deck stacked in such a … Continued

SOY Mentoring: Academic Development

     Alongside emotional development, we also strive to support our mentees in their academic efforts. We know they often struggle to attend class, complete homework, or stay motivated, but we also see few other supports around them, either inside the school or elsewhere. Education is seldom their highest value, and other things, like babysitting … Continued

SOY Mentoring: Emotional Development

     One of the three pillars of our approach to mentoring is the emotional development of mentees. Though often ambiguous, difficult both to define and measure, we believe this pursuit is essential to the maturation of each child. The result, we hope, is the ability to regulate emotions, solve problems, interact appropriately, set and … Continued