Save Our Youth

Organization Description: 

In 1993 Denver residents confronted an onslaught of gang activity and street crime which climaxed into the "Summer of Violence."

There were drive by shooting, innocent children were shot. We heard an AK-47 in the backyard, people running in the streets. —Herb Sanders, community partner

Inner city workers, social workers, family counselors and probation officers were overwhelmed were families had so many problems. —Trudy Swain, Program Director

In response, a group of 122 concerned urban churches and social agencies sponsored rap concerts with anti-gang messages.

We attracted 5000 kids in 5 nights. —Luis Villarreal, SOY Founder

Following the concerts, youth were encouraged to call a designated phone number, to give feedback and insight on the current crisis. Large numbers of youth called requesting a counselor or someone to help them with the struggles they were experiencing.

We had 800 kids who said ‘I’m in trouble, I need help.’ —Trudy Swain, Program Director

In 1995, Save Our Youth (SOY) was organized to meet the needs of urban youth by connecting them with caring adults who could take an interest in their daily lives and futures.

The issue today is disconnection. We believe that we have the vocabulary for hope and that resulted in developing a mentoring program where we have an adult who comes in and fills the gap where a parent has left a hole. —Luis Villarreal, SOY Founder

3443 W. 23rd Ave
Denver, CO 80211
Mission Statement: 

Save Our Youth transforms the lives of at-risk youth through mentor relationships, providing the skills for success in educational, emotional, spiritual development.

Organizational Statement of Faith: 


We believe that the Bible is the word of God. It was written by people divinely inspired and it is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

We believe in one living God, whose essence cannot be fully comprehended by human beings; but Who has revealed Himself in three distinct personalities: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are equal in every divine perfection and distinct in function.

We believe in God, the Father, Who concerns Himself in human affairs, hears and answers prayer, and saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

We believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal and only begotten Son of God, conceived by the working of the Holy Spirit, born from a virgin and sinless in His Life.

We believe He made atonement for the sins of the world by His Death.

We believe in His bodily resurrection from the dead, in His bodily ascension into heaven, and in His bodily pre-millennial return to rule the world.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, Who eternally comes forth from God to convince the world of its sin, of the need for righteousness, and of judgment; and to regenerate, indwell, sanctify, lead, and comfort those who believe in Jesus Christ.

We believe that all people by nature and by choice are sinners. However, we also believe that God loves the entire world and offers everyone His Son’s sacrifice on the cross as payment for every sin. Therefore, those who accept Christ as Savior and Lord will rejoice forever in God’s presence; and those who refuse to accept Christ as Savior and Lord will be forever separated from God.

We believe in the church, a living, spiritual body of which Christ is the Head and of which all regenerated people are members. We believe that a visible church is a company of believers in Jesus Christ, immersed in water baptism upon a credible testimony of faith, and associated for worship, work, fellowship, teaching, and prayer.

We believe that to the visible churches were committed the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and that God has tasked these churches with persuading a lost world to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We believe that all human betterment and social improvements—particularly involvement with the poor and the oppressed—are the inevitable byproduct of such a gospel.

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