The S.A.Y. Yes! Youth Center is a long-term mentoring program that serves students from 1st grade to high school. The program's vision is to see transformed youth bring transformation in their own community. Our elementary and teen centers meet in the afternoons on Tuesday through Thursday. Our program provides school support and mentorship for each of our students, but we are more than an after-school program. We are focused not just on providing a safe place for kids after school, but also on developing deep relationships to help our students grow into responsible leaders. S.A.Y Yes! exists to provide what young people need most - to know that they have an identity as children of God and are loved by Jesus Christ.
The Elementary S.A.Y Yes! Youth Center seeks to lay a strong foundation for character and to support kids' paths to college. We promote a love for reading from a very young age, offer math support through tutoring, and encourage kids to be curious by doing art projects and attending field trips. We emphasize organization, personal responsibility, love and knowledge of God, and care for our community. Even the youngest child is valued as a leader and as someone with a special gift to bring to the world!
The S.A.Y Yes! Teen Center offers homework help, provides support in achieving college goals, and offers tools for living healthy God-centered lives. The Teen Center encourages students to achieve their best in junior high and high school by offering support in testing, homework help, and college applications. Each year we take students to see college campuses and learn about various careers. By splitting the teens into small, core groups, we emphasize community and encourage developing life skills. Each teen is encouraged to become a leader in their community. Weekly discussions engage teens in talking about their choices and purpose in life by exploring what Jesus teaches about those topics.
The S.A.Y Yes! Youth Center would not exist without the help of outstanding volunteers who come to the Center on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Most volunteers come for one or more days per week to help students during tutoring time. They assist with homework assignments or tutor students in areas of high need. Volunteers can also help by teaching an elective class, leading recreation time for the elementary kids, helping with snacks, or designing art projects.
We are currently looking for volunteers for all junior high and high school subjects and for help with one-on-one reading and homework help for elementary students.
S.A.Y Yes! Pico Union began in September of 2001. For many years, one of the biggest issues that families in Pico Union struggled with was how to help their children succeed in school. The cords of poverty, gang violence, broken families, and under-resourced schools formed a web that contributed to 50-75% of students not receiving their high school diploma.
In 2000 Scott and Sarah Yetter came on staff with the church and began tutoring students after school. As more and more parents voiced the need for homework help and for a safe place for kids to go after school, the church began the process of opening a S.A.Y. Yes! Youth Center. The Center opened in 2001 with Sarah Yetter as the Director. She is still the Director today.