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S.A.Y. Yes!

WHAT IS S.A.Y. YES?

"Mentoring Youth for Community Transformation"

S.A.Y. Yes! is a long-term, life-on-life mentoring program with a vision to see transformed youth bring transformation in their own community. There are many programs that focus on helping at-risk youth after they have fallen into addictions, gangs, and unwed pregnancy. S.A.Y. Yes! exists to walk with youth and their families from 1st grade through high school providing role-models, love and nurture, school support, and encouragement to believe in who they are becoming. We believe that what at-risk young people need above everything is to internalize their identity as children of purpose loved by Jesus Christ in the years where scars and hurts often deeply brand young people as "failures " and "worthless". This will make the difference between giving up on school and life and making a real change in community.

Though S.A.Y. Yes! provides a structured elementary and teen youth center on Tuesday - Thursday after school, it is much more than an after-school program. We are focused not just on providing a safe place for our kids after school, but rather in making a deep relational investment in their development as people. For this reason S.A.Y. Yes! is committed to achieving its purpose through fostering mentoring relationships to provide long-term, individual attention and care.

Here are some of the distinctives of S.A.Y. Yes!:

  • Centered on Jesus Christ - We certainly seek to model and teach about Jesus, but even more we seek to follow Jesus in every part of what we do
  • Not a drop-in center, but we require committed participation and an enrollment fee of $25/semester
  • A running "waiting list" for students to enter when space allows
  • 1 Mentor to every 3-5 kids or youth
  • Regular communication between mentors and school administration, teachers, and parents
  • Outside the walls - most of the hours our mentors spend happens outside of the after-school youth center and "on the streets"
  • Community based - students and families are from immediate community
  • Connected to the Local Church - caring for kids and families in our community is a part of what the local church should do. S.A.Y. Yes! is an initiative of the church and though most participants do not come from the church, many eventually see the importance of being a part of the community of faith.
  • We are funded primarily by private donations and try to keep operating expenses very low
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