SOY’s mission is to provide a safe and welcoming space for teens to find hope, to nourish a sense of self and an ability to grow, and to develop interests and skills to become productive members of society.
Who We Are
Established in 1993, the Save Our Youth (SOY) Center was founded through the hard work and steadfast vision of parents on the Westside of Costa Mesa who believed their teenagers needed an alternative to gangs and the temptation of the streets. As a non-profit agency serving low-income youth to provide a worthwhile option to an at-risk lifestyle, SOY provides a challenging and healthy environment where teens receive mentoring, tutoring, and college preparedness. This includes visits to college campuses throughout California where they are often given a tour by SOY graduates attending the college visited.
At SOY the students reduce stress and anxiety or just enjoy working out in our fully equipped physical fitness program; gain knowledge and love of nature through monthly wilderness hikes, even to the top of Mt. Whitney; participate in sports teams; add to their cultural awareness by visits to museums, lectures, plays, and learn the value of volunteer community service through projects such as “clean the bay”.
SOY students also develop and exhibit their talents through dance, art and music with classes, workshops and presentations, including talent shows, dance performances and community events. Over 200 SOY members have gone on to colleges and universities across our state and nation. Many SOY alums come back and volunteer as tutors, coaches, and event assistants.
SOY serves the students of the intermediate and high schools of the Newport Mesa Unified School District, including those at TeWinkle, Ensign, Costa Mesa Intermediate School and Estancia, Costa Mesa and Newport Harbor High School.