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SAY San Diego: 2018 Annual Report

Message from Our CEO and Board President

Mission Statement

SAY San Diego’s mission is to partner with youth, adults, families, and communities to reach their full potential. Our vision is opportunity, equity and well-being for all San Diegans.

Dear Friends,

We are very pleased to share the impact of SAY San Diego’s daily work to improve and save lives in this 2018 annual progress report.

Conditions for a healthy family life can still be challenging for many. Although the economy has produced jobs, San Diego area families struggle to make ends meet, due to high costs, low wages, and under-employment. Many families still cannot access resources needed for child development and family wellness. Given these realities, our mission – to enable everyone to reach their fullest potential – is as important as ever.

2018 was pivotal, because the board of directors and staff acted on our vision to make an even greater contribution in the area of early childhood development. Come 2019, SAY San Diego will provide workplace childcare and preschool, spurring growth in this area by providing consultation to other employers who would like to do the same. Life’s earliest years are fleeting, yet absolutely foundational to healthy development. However, a majority of area families do not have access to high quality, nurturing, affordable care that supports both their child’s well-being and their need to work. Less than 10% of local employers offer childcare benefits, so we intend to set an example and serve as consultants to other employers interested in workplace-based care. We envision a time when excellent childhood care opportunities for families will be the norm not the exception.

2018 was also filled with accomplishments, as SAY San Diego’s team:

  • Received local and national recognition for community work aimed at drug-free, crime-free, and smoke-free living
  • Contributed mightily to the positive trend of decreasing child abuse and family disruption
  • Played a significant role in the dramatic local reduction in juvenile arrests, detention, and incarceration
  • Helped more kids stay in school and achieve positive outcomes
  • Instituted new home visiting and parent support initiatives
  • Expanded programs for fathers, military families, refugee and immigrant families, and adults in re-entry
  • Continued to develop our family resource centers, redoubling efforts to create the highest quality in a truly client and community-centered approach

All of these accomplishments are made possible by our dedicated community of partners, volunteers, and donors who lift us up and support our work every day and every year. We’re excited about the future as we approach SAY San Diego’s 50th year in 2021, and very grateful to be looking forward together!

Click here to view our 2017-2018 donors. 

Barbara Ryan
Board President

Nancy Gannon Hornberger
Chief Executive Officer

Child & Youth Development

SAY San Diego’s First 5 First Steps (F5FS) program, funded by First 5 San Diego, is an in-home family support program serving expectant and new parents which include teens, military, refugee, immigrant, and low-income families. Services start prenatally and continue until the child’s 3rd birthday. In 2018, 174 families strengthened parent-child attachment, learned new parenting skills, and were provided with resources like increased access to medical services. 94% of children in the program are up-to-date with immunizations.

In 2018, SAY’s three preschool sites provided 133 children, ages 3-5, with safe, secure, flexible, and stimulating environments that promote, nurture, and enhance all areas of their development. Coming in 2019, we are launching a workplace Early Childhood Center at SAY’s new main office in Kearny Mesa. The center, funded by the Guy C. Clum Fund at The San Diego Foundation, will be a model for local employers interested in developing child care centers at their own workplaces.

SAY San Diego operates a certified outpatient behavioral health program at five local school sites to help children and adolescents overcome mental health challenges and empower them to live up to their full potential. Services include individual and family treatment, case management and rehabilitative services, crisis intervention, and outreach at schools and in the community. The program offers integrated services with an emphasis on whole person wellness, and promotes access to medical, social, and rehabilitative support.

2018 Highlights | Child & Youth Development

Before and After School Enrichment

SAY’s before and after school programs provide students with unique enrichment activities like creating a newscast, planting a garden, or designing a science experiment, which help active youth focus their energies on creativity.

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Youth Advocates for Safer Communities

“Being in Elevated in a leadership capacity, changed me insurmountably. I was always very shy, but Elevated pushed me, gave me confidence, and showed me that I have a voice. I may be only one person, but I have the power to make a difference in my community and in the world.” – Natalie, Elevated graduate

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College Readiness

“Visiting colleges gives me a better understanding of how a school looks and feels, to see it in action. I like to talk to the runners and ask them questions about the school and what it’s like to attend. I hope to visit even more colleges.”  – Nader, Crawford High School cross country and track athlete

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Youth, Adult, & Family Wellness

In 2018, 75 youth from the Reflections Day Treatment program participated in a running and CrossFit club. Reflections Runners set fitness goals which complement their case management goals, establishing a connection between physical and behavioral health. Participants also register for local races, building self-confidence and engaging them with others in the club. Youth reported that participation in physical activities helps improve mood, motivation, and the desire to remain sober.

Military Transition: The Spouse Edition addresses obstacles faced by military spouses including long periods of spousal separation, high poverty rates, inability to secure employment due to frequent moves, and childcare needs. Workshops focus on strengthening the support system and providing resources, especially as families transition to civilian life. 94% surveyed felt knowledgeable about community resources after completing the workshop, up from 22% prior. One attendee said “it was great to know there are people to help you whenever you need it.”

SAY’s Community Services for Families works with families involved with or at risk of involvement with Child Welfare to strengthen parents, ensure stable and safe homes, and increase the health of children and families. In 2018, 370 clients benefitted from in-home parenting education. Thanks to a state grant from the Office of Child Abuse Prevention, SAY was able to offer case managed families an additional layer of support through financial literacy tools. One client said “I have learned so much about managing my financial situation in just a few visits. Thank you.”

2018 Highlights | Youth, Adult, and Family Wellness

Dads Corps

“Dads Corps provides a great forum of discussion for all fathers, whether it’s finances, work, family, or raising our kids. We’re able to assist each other and give each other advice, as well as assist and engage our community.” – Frank, Dads Corps graduate

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Youth Delinquency Prevention

“My favorite thing about teen court is being able to interact with people from unique perspectives and backgrounds. I’ve learned to keep an open mind because every situation is different and every person is deserving of empathy.” – Michelle, Teen Court volunteer

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Project KEEP

“I enjoy the conversations in the group and hearing what other grandparents and foster parents have experienced. I like to take in all the information and use it with my granddaughter.” – Adrianne, Project KEEP client raising her granddaughter

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Community Engagement

The North Central Region of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention program educates the community on the dangers of substance abuse including prescription drugs, alcohol, opioids, and vaping. 2018 outreach events included Prescription Drug Takeback Day, Steer Clear Sober Driving classes at 5 high schools, Social Host Ordinance workshops, and a town hall meeting titled “From Sugar to Heroin,” run by students at Clairemont and Kearny High Schools about the dangers of substance abuse.

The San Diego Military Family Collaborative (SDMFC), convened by SAY San Diego, provides an inclusive forum to maximize the collective impact of community resources to enhance military life. Nearly 150 organizations make up the SDMFC, including SAY’s Military Family Resource Center. The collaborative offers workshops, resources, special events, and support groups for active duty and veteran families. This year’s annual conference featured guest speakers Rear Admiral Yancy B. Lindsey, County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, and Congresswoman Susan Davis.

The Central Region of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention program engages the community by hosting a variety of events and forums that bring together law enforcement, elected officials, faith groups, and partner organizations to promote safe, positive, alcohol and drug-free activities for youth and families. In 2018, more than 3,700 attended events including the Unity Games, Summer Night Lights, and City Heights Day of the Arts.

2018 Highlights | Community Engagement

O’Farrell Family Support Services

“Our goal is to make sure that no matter what it is that a family comes in for, we can provide the service right here. They know we’re here, they know that we can help them, and we’re going to work as a team.” – Mary Skrabucha, Sr. Program Director, retiring after 27 years at O’Farrell

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Serra Real Connections

“There’s nothing else like our program on this campus. We look at the whole child and the whole family to determine how we can empower each student to grow, thrive, and be the best that they can be.” – Shannon Stracener, Program Manager

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Crawford Community Connection

“I would advise any new arrival to this country to get involved in their child’s education, attend meetings, and ask questions. It’s through those meetings that you learn about resources like where to find a job.” – Marie, refugee mom and current SAY employee

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Get Involved

SAY San Diego was fortunate to be selected once again by the Century Club to participate in the Champions for Youth campaign. The fundraising campaign, which ran from November to January and culminated with the Farmer’s Insurance Open, raised over $102,000 for critical SAY San Diego program support not covered by our grants and contracts – a 44% increase from the previous year! More than 130 SAY supporters donated gifts ranging from $10 to $10,000 in 2017/2018. Thank you!

The Hervey Family Fund helped SAY launch and grow this innovative support tool that provides urgent-needs assistance to “bridge” families and children through a temporary challenge. In 2018, additional funding from the R.C. Baker Foundation, the Cohn Family, and Ed and Nancy Quinn allowed for focused support for youth and families in military communities and in City Heights. More than 180 families received assistance in the past year ranging from $20 to $500 for career clothing, transportation, scholarships, training fees, and medical expenses.

SAY’s annual fundraising event, Play 4 SAY, drew more than 330 business professionals and community supporters and raised $50,000 in critical funds for SAY programs for children, families and the community. The “un-Gala” allowed adults to be kids for few hours through friendly but competitive rounds of lawn games along with plenty of networking, tastings from local restaurants, and prizes all in the name of supporting SAY!

2018 Highlights | Get Involved

Private Giving

We are grateful to the many companies, organizations, and individuals who provide critical private funding to support our work.

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Volunteer Service 

“Volunteering is important to me because it allows me to give back. I may not be able to donate a lot of money, but I can donate my time.” – Christina, Dads Corps volunteer

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Fundraising Partnerships

“Having gratitude for the life you lead and realizing how fortunate you are inspires you to try to improve the life of others.” – Arturo Kassel, Managing Partner Whisknladle Hospitality

Learn More


Funding Our Impact

Invest in SAY

There are many ways to invest in SAY including legacy giving, donations of stock, corporate and individual giving, tribute gifts, employer match, grants, and our annual event. For more information, please contact Suzie Colby, Vice President Resource Development at suzie@saysandiego.org.