Community Partner of the Month: Save Our Youth Mentoring

Hey! We love that you're interested in this, but just a heads up, it's for North Colorado.


Save Our Youth is a One-to-One Youth Mentoring program that exists to eradicate financial, emotional, educational, spiritual, and relational poverty among young people across the Denver Metro Area. Established in 1994, it was formed as a direct response to Denver’s 1993 “Summer of Violence,” to help serve low-income, at-risk youth caught in the cycle of youth violence. 

At the time, a reported 74 gang-related deaths sparked concern for the social/emotional landscape of youth in Denver. A task force consisting of local community and church leaders gathered to identify the root cause of the citywide unrest. Feedback from youth identified the need for positive adult role models who would listen, provide guidance, and encourage social, emotional, and educational growth. The leader of the task force, Luis Villarreal, responded to this need and founded Save Our Youth. 

Save Our Youth is one of a few mentoring agencies in Colorado that employs Mentoring Specialists who focus on caseloads of no more than forty mentor/mentee matches each. Mentoring Specialists interview interested youth, ages 10-17, to ensure a proper understanding of our mentoring program; they also help discover interests and talents so that the mentee can be matched with a mentor who shares their passions and is best suited to help them grow and develop. Through an evidence-based Family Systems Approach, Save Our Youth positions the mentor, mentee, and Mentoring Specialist to work collectively in order to build effective and meaningful relationships.  

Prospective mentors go through extensive vetting to ensure the safety of our mentees; those who qualify are thoroughly trained prior to being matched and are fully supported by their Mentoring Specialist. Mentors commit to meeting with their mentee for an average of two or more hours each week, for at least one year, and they help their mentees set goals for what they would like to achieve through the mentoring match. In addition to the support of our Mentoring Specialists, Save Our Youth also hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year. This includes, but is not limited to, an annual Back to School Event, Christmas Celebration, Family Fun Day, ongoing mentor training, discussion groups, and tickets to events/activities in the community.  

The educational, emotional, and spiritual needs of children are often overlooked and set the stage for poor life choices. “Mentoring can be an effective instrument to improve youth outcomes including: better attendance and attitude towards school, greater chances of obtaining higher education, less propensity to use alcohol and drugs, and increased social attitudes and relationships” (Hair, Jekielek, Moore & Scarupa. Mentoring: A promising Strategy for Youth Development). 


How Can You Get Involved?

Be a MENTOR – You can play a significant role in helping a young person recognize their full potential. Fill out the interest form at! 

Be a VOLUNTEER – Can’t mentor right now? One- time opportunities to support our mission happen throughout the year. Let us know that you’re interested at and we’ll let you know how you can help! 

Be a DONOR – Donate to support the programs we offer and to make an impact on the youth in your community. Visit to learn more! 

Be a CONNECTOR – Connect us to your community/networks to introduce the opportunity of mentorship. Let us know what you have in mind at! 

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