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MENtors: Driving Change for Boys, Men & Dads

Organization Mission

MENtors supports boys, men and fathers to achieve healthier social and emotional development that enriches their awareness of self and others and increases engagement with self and others to help build meaningful, lasting relationships with themselves, their families, and our community.

MENtors is committed to driving positive and sustainable change for boys and men, empowering them to fulfill their ambitions and full potential, even for those facing injustice, as healthy members of their families and communities.

The Big Idea 2022:
Equity for Our Boys

Many boys and young men from Black, Latinx and less-advantaged backgrounds were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, distance learning, and social isolation compared to their more advantaged peers. MENtors is addressing this inequity by creating opportunities and a safe space for them for them to succeed in life.

We need the community’s support to do this by connecting our youth with peers and male mentors in a group setting to explore education, mental health, well-being, family relationships, peer connection, career and higher education. We plan to create a weekly, facilitated, safe and welcoming space for boys and young men in middle and high schools to explore, build and enhance the pillars of resilience to get youth out of the survival mode and be able to thrive during this challenging time.

Our work has been to conduct weekly programs in four middle schools and one high school. We host father-involvement and co-parenting classes to enhance fatherhood roles, strengthen parent-child relationships, and promote team parenting. We also host community engagement conferences, focusing on issues that impact boys, men and fathers, and we recruited 20 local volunteers to serve as multi-generational, cross-cultural and cross-geographical mentors.

I like MENtors because I get to spend time with new friends, meditate, relax and talk about feelings and hard stuff with our teachers.

Jose, middle school student

We’re In This Together

Nonprofits are more important that ever in this trying time. Santa Cruz Gives! was created to support the local nonprofit community's Big Ideas (and programs). And thanks to your participation and generosity, Santa Cruz Gives! raised over $1.10 million for 82 local nonprofits in 2021.

SCGives! has now raised and contributed over $36 million dollars since its inception Seven years ago. That’s astounding. And wonderful. Thank you to all our Partners, Sponsors, nonprofit Board Directors, staff and volunteers — and each of our 1,455 donors. We did it, together.

Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November


The 2022 Santa Cruz Gives! RFP (for applying nonprofits) is due by Tuesday, September 7 and organizations will be notified of their application status Sept. 22-24. Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November.