Who We Are

Learn more about Save Our Youth.
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Our Mission

We connect young people to hope through long-term mentoring relationships

Our Vision

Our vision is to see a world where every young person embraces their God-given worth.

Core Values

He is at the center of all we do. We embrace Scripture as our ultimate authority, and seek wisdom, guidance and provision through prayer.

We see people as God sees people. We support and serve those living in poverty (emotional, spiritual, financial, or relational) by connecting them with resources that lead to hope.

All we do happens within the contect of a healthy relationship. We strive to build relationships with all we interact with, including staff, youth, mentors, donors, community and church leaders.

Teamwork is our primary mode of operation. We intentionally seek and offer support, feedback, guidance, and collaboration.

We do all things to the best of our ability. We are good stewards of our time, talent and treasure, both individually and as an organization. We gauge impact through clear measure of success.

Learning never ceases. We value wisdom and intentionally pursue ways to apply new knowledge. We commit to owning our mistakes and leveraging them as growth opportunities.

Save Our Youth in Numbers


The year Save Our Youth began serving kids in the Denver area.


The number of youth served in 2022.


The number of months an average Save Our Youth mentoring relationship lasts.


The number of youth in the Denver area who still need a mentor.

Staff Members

Well-trained, highly experienced, and eager to help mentors do great work.

Russel Dains

President & CEO

Maria Borrego

Program Director

Don Kerns

Director of Operations & Finance

Kathrine Vigil

Director of Development

Matt Lange

Denver Program Manager

Angela Maher

Education Manager

Dan Frederick

Mentor Recruitment Manager

Keith McVaney

Donor Relations

Marianne Verdecchio

Office Administrator

Dean Millard


Carol Trejos

Mentoring Specialist III

Darcy Burge

Mentoring Specialist II

Alisha Turner

Mentoring Specialist I

Ashleigh Deeds

Mentoring Specialist I

Michael TenBarge

Mentoring Specialist I

Matt Wilcox

Mentor Recruitment Coordinator

Alyssa Bryant

Marketing and Events Coordinator

Board Members

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

Sarah Jullianelle

Highlands Health & Wellness

Russel Dains

Save Our Youth

Matthew Misegadis


Rosario Medina

The University of Colorado College of Nursing

Shannon Dreyfuss

Colorado Christian University

Carolyn Wentz

Littleton Massage & Sports Therapy

Sue-Lin Toussaint

Northeast Region/Aurora Public Schools

Peter Horstman

Prosperion Financial Advisors

Jeffrey Shepard

Hughes Marino

Kirk Roberts


The History


Denver’s “Summer of Violence” devastates families across the city. The crisis prompts pastors, social workers, and others to address the issue collaboratively.


Mentoring emerges as one way to address the issues plaguing Denver’s youth, and Save Our Youth is launched.


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 women.


Co-founder Luis Villarreal passes the torch of leadership to the new CEO and President, Russel Dains.


Save Our Youth begins expansion in Colorado Springs, Colorado