Who We Are

The young people who join our program and experience a successful mentoring relationship are more likely to experience an increase in spiritual, emotional, and economic hope.
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Core Values

Love Jesus

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

Love People

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.

Value Relationship

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

Work Together

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

Strive for Excellence

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 measures of success.

Learn and Grow

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 youths served in 2023.


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

Matt Lange

Denver Program Manager

Angela Maher

Education Manager

Dan Frederick

Mentor Recruitment Manager

Keith McVaney

Donor Relations

Marianne Verdecchio

Office Administrator

Carol Trejos

Mentoring Specialist III

Darcy Burge

Mentoring Specialist II

Alisha Turner

Mentoring Specialist I

Ashleigh Birkholtz

Mentoring Specialist I

Michael TenBarge

Mentoring Specialist I

Matt Wilcox

Mentor Recruitment Coordinator

Alyssa Bryant

Marketing and Events Coordinator

Hannah Woodhouse

Program Specialist

Jay Jung

Major Gifts Officer

Board Members

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

Sarah Julianelle

Highlands Health & Wellness

Russel Dains

Save Our Youth

Matthew Misegadis

Misegadis & Associates LLC

Shannon Dreyfuss

Colorado Christian University

Peter Horstman

Prosperion Financial Advisors

Jeffrey Shepard

Hughes Marino

Kirk Roberts


Sarah Anderson

Globe Life Family Heritage

Matt Manning

Crossroads Church

Our 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.


Serving nearly 3500 youth, Save Our Youth celebrates 30 years of mentoring in the Denver Metro Area.