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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

SOLE Effects

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Higher Education, Literacy, Mental Health, Substance Abuse Dependency, Prevention & Treatment

Mission: Our mission is to grow confident and courageous leaders through influential role models. Our Purpose: 1. To develop personal leadership skills in college students who then instill these skills in 9th grade students, creating purpose-driven lives while maximizing their leadership potential in life. 2. To prevent depression/anxiety, self-harm, addiction, bullying, violence, and suicide. 3. To provide teachers and staff members necessary student social/emotional support, giving them more time to focus on core curriculum, while continuing to bring positive change to the school culture. 4. To provide parents and caretakers relevant resources, a strong support system, and effective communication tools to lead their teens during these critical years.

Results: *Impacted 2,200 students and caused a ripple effect throughout their schools *Best Defense Against Drug Abuse Article - http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/pomerado-news/our-columns/sdpn-wooton-best-defense-against-teen-drug-abuse-2016aug03-story.html *Impacted 235 teens and parents with our "Screenagers" event, providing guidance with social media *Received Palomar Council Award (highest award in PTSA's in PUSD) *Received highest honor for 2016's "Outstanding Service Learning Group" at CSUSM *CSUSM Senior Business Project - results showed there is no mentoring program locally or throughout the US like ours

Target demographics: college students develop strong leadership skills in 9th grade students

Direct beneficiaries per year: 260 students, and 3 educational organizations

Geographic areas served: The Poway Unified School District, Cal State San Marcos, and Palomar College

Programs: a social leadership program to guide our coaches and teens find their life's purpose, achieve balance, and prevent the emotional and social issues they're up against

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a recently retired high school teacher, and wanted to continue to serve youth in my area. I became an advisor with SOLE Effects in 2019 and have been amazed by their company. This group is solely and passionately dedicated to helping youth with the real problems they face daily. In my 8 sessions with youth I saw real change in the high school Students who opened up and got great support from the college mentors. AND I saw the college mentors make impressively candid and open connections with the high school student. The college mentors grew as leaders and their passion for giving back to their community was inspiring. As a 30 yr High school Health teacher, I have never seen a program come into the school so seamlessly and have such a profound and I believe lasting effect. Our youth today NEED this program for their social and emotional health

Advisor

Rating: 5

Sole Effect's is one of the most impactful, rewarding non-profits I've ever volunteered with/advised. The multi-generation emotional skill-building mentoring program is special, because it enables college-age youth to mentor 9th graders, and professionals to mentor the young adults. The college mentors, working with small groups of 9th graders, focus on skills and strategies to build emotional health and make good choices, using real world examples the kids can relate to. And as adult advisors we have the joy of working with and helping guide some of the most wonderful young adults! It is rewarding for all!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined SOLE Effects during my second year of college. During the program, I learned how to encourage high school students to embrace who they are and become confident youth with the help of mentors. Being a part of the program has helped me as well to become a more confident and enthusiastic person and member of SOLE Effects. The program had a positive impact on my life and I plan to continue to volunteer and change the lives of youth!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter was introduced to this amazing group by a friend at the University she attends. She became a Mentor her 2nd year of college and I have seen a dramatic change in her leadership and confidence since she joined this group. I had the pleasure of attending one of the sessions and was blown away how much this group does to make a difference for the students they mentor. Their presentations and break out sessions were genuine and inspiring. My daughter feels this has been the most positive experience she has experienced while in college and looks forward to making a difference in other lives and her own! Love Sole Effects! Thank you for all you do!

Joan J.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sole Effects made a world of difference in my son's life. He joined as a mentor his freshman year of college and it sparked a passion in him he didn't even know existed. Watching my son grow, not only with this organization but personally has been one of the most wonderful things a mom could ask for. I got to watch Sole Effects in action and just seeing the kids response to the mentors was beautiful. This is a much needed program and I'm thrilled that we are a part of it through our son.

Amanda C.15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an incoming third year guide I can safely say that Sole Effects is dedicated to what they do and are great at doing it as well. The feeling of putting forth more effort in today’s youth and seeing our efforts passed on is truly heartwarming.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, I found both my voice and passion for education. I guess it is true that “the best way to find yourself is to first lose yourself in the service of others,” because I find myself now studying education at my current university, and I will go on to teaching next year. This organization was the impetus for much of my current and future ambitions. Wonderful program, and it has even more wonderful founders – Kevin and Karen, thank you both for everything!

Jade L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SOLE Effects has brought joy and happiness to my heart. As an intern working with Karen over the last few months she has given me the opportunity to help this organization grow in more ways then I could have imagined. I see her and this group of amazing individuals bringing so much confidence and courage into the lives of teens that continue to struggle with so many issues today. I hope to work with her and bring awareness on many of the social issues that can impact these young minds. With dedication and love I see this organization making one of the biggest impacts on young teens for generations to come. Thank you Karen for sharing your passion and purpose in life with me.

Peter M.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Sole Effects in the spring of 2019. I was impressed by the team and the scope that Sole Effects had put together. During my time as a volunteer, I utilized various communication skills with the students that I was leading. I honed these skills while also learning/adapting to new skills such as capturing the attention of students who weren't actively engaged and getting them to participate gradually. This is a program that has the potential for further growth and outreach in their community for good. The skills Sole Effects teaches should be a standard that all high schools should have.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a retired teacher and administrator, and last year I had the opportunity to serve as a mentor to the college age "guides" who work with the high school students. I was so impressed with the topics and the level of deep sharing that flowed within the groups. Once the students saw that the guides were genuine and authentic, that the conversations were relevant, and that process was trustworthy, students opened up. In their mentors and from their peers, they found validation, reinforcement and guidance to help them navigate the rigorous journey toward developing their true identities as healthy young adults. My mentees were eager for feedback and suggestions to help them better serve the students and make their group meetings more effective. In this setting, personal development is THE curriculum, not a byproduct.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Confused and uncertain of what I wanted to do with my future, I decided to volunteer for Sole Effects. It definitely switched my life around and help me find something I am passionate about; helping others. During the 8 weeks, I was able to help create a safe environment for my students which allowed them to open up. We discussed ways to switch their habits into healthy habits, as well as talk about life in general. At first, many of my students were shy but as the weeks went by my students began to confide in me. Not only was that feeling life changing, but it made me emotional. Not only did I learn a great deal about my students, I learned a great deal about myself. Sole Effects helped me realize my own habits and have helped me switch to a healthier lifestyle, which is something that every student can take away from this program! I highly recommend partaking in this program! I rave about it to everyone I meet!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned in the spring and I had a blast mentoring these amazing youth! I learned leadership skills, while helping these students increase their own confidence and together we created long lasting memories. These students often suffer from anxiety and stress from high expectations, but during our meeting times together, they got to learn life skills while having fun! I wish every student would be able to participate in this amazing program. :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined SOLE Effects spring of 2019 and the whole process allowed me to not only become a better speaker but a better leader. My groups of kids at Del Norte were wonderful. They showed up everyday enthusiastic and ready to talk about anything they had been going through over the week. I’m very much so looking forward to next spring and also looking forward to see how I can grow as a mentor.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as a guide for this program last year, I can say that I had a wonderful experience interacting with students and other memebers of this group. I found that students were very interested in the material provided and the feedback that was received from students at the end of the program exceeded my high expectations of the wealth of this program. I am a student at cal state San Marcos practicing for a BA in psychology and from what I have learned through my schooling and experiences in sole effects, this nonprofit exceeds the much needed relief for students experiencing adolescent stress and struggle as well as serving as a guide to navigate life’s many ups and downs. I can not express my gratitude for this nonprofit enough, it truly is a wonderful program.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a member of the community foundation that helped fund this program in a local high school, I can not say enough about the issues that SOLE Effects addresses in our overly stressed student population. Using trained college students as peer mentors, they are addressing the the toxic brew of negative emotions including academic and sports pressure, stress, worthlessness, inferiority, competitive angst, parental expectations, etc. that are plaguing so many young people today. The program's first year was so successful that the principal made it his goal that every student in the high school should pass through this program. The staff that started and implement the program are all highly qualified and dedicated professionals from the education and psychology fields. I am very proud to have played a small part in bringing this much needed focus to the local high school.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a parent of kids who grew up in the area, a business owner employing youths and a philanthropic and community service leader in this area. I have seen a lot of well meaning efforts to effect a needle moving change in the way today's youth deals with the myriad of stresses on them but have never seen anything quite as remarkable as what Sole Effects is doing. Really remarkable.

Leadership begins with self esteem and that is where the Switch program focuses it's attention. By identifying the many sources of attacks on self esteem and allowing the students to see it, identify what is causing it and also develop skills to defend against this, it allows leadership to fill the void. Amazing program that should be replicated nationwide in my view. This motivates our Rotary Club to grant funds to this program annually.

Craig Brown

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During my time at Sole Effects as a volunteer/college mentor, I got to experience first-hand the powerful impact this organization had on the youth we worked with.

I enjoyed getting to know each student by building trust and offering a safe space for them to share their stories. This led to open and honest discussions about the issues they struggled with daily, which enabled us to teach them valuable life and leadership skills to help cope and overcome the struggles they faced.

I would highly recommend this organization and feel honored to have had the opportunity to volunteer with them.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have worked with SOLE Effects for two years as a advisor with our leadership mentors. The growth that I see each year in our mentors is amazing. The work that they do on teaching life skills and leadership to our 7-9th grader students is a gift to our community that will reap untold benefits in the future. I am truly lucky and honored to be able to contribute in a small way to this amazing effort.


Mike M.

Erika Lyn S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During my time at CSUSM, I’ve worked with Sole Effects twice and each time I found it more and more valuable.

Not only did we as students and volunteers give back, we also received so much out of it: chances to open up and share to students about our own experiences, chances to open up with each other as well as seeing how our stories and our leadership have impacted to our students.

I would love to see Sole Effects continue to impact lives.

Shell Hatlelid C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been helping families for 35 years and I find the work of SOLE Effects to be one of the best supports for families. It is brilliant to mentor College Students to teach life skills and lead small groups for Middle and High School. Youth learn best from those just a bit older. Parents have a crucial role in their young persons life, but the more they can have positive reinforcement, the more they thrive. Youth admit themselves, they are in trouble with the stress and pressures of life. I will do whatever I can to help SOLE Effects be available to every family!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with both Kevin and Karen Ogden for many years both in a professional relationship and a personal one. I remember many years ago meeting with Karen as she shared her dream of starting a program to help young adolescents with the many trials and tribulations they face. Karen consulted professionals in the field of education and those working in the mental health sector. Karen wanted to make sure that she led a team to design a program, SWITCH Adventure, that was realistic to the issues young people face today; low self-esteem, bullying, peer issues etc. From her sitting room in Poway she has created a vision that has materialized into a program that has "launched young people" valuing themselves and learning that they are an important part of society and that their voices count.
In my capacity as an Adjunct Professor at Palomar Community College, I have been able to offer my students an opportunity to work with Karen's students as "teachers, students and peer mentors." My students after having done Volunteer work through Service Learning with SOLE Effects, have come back enhanced in knowing that had made a difference in these teens’ lives Our youth are being bombarded with false advertising on how to build self-esteem, to be dressed only in the best clothes and having their statements and sometimes their lives mocked on Facebook and Instagram. College students share their experiences of having "been there" and the paths that are available to become important adults not having to accept bullying, peer pressure and knowing that they do not have to live up to other people's standards but their own.
This is excellent program is a win-win both for the students enrolled and to the Volunteers who work in their program. This program is a must for all Middle and High School students as they try to traverse their adolescents. I support this program whole-heartedly.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a retired educator and one of SOLE Effects' donors and supporters, I wish to extol the outstanding merits of this nonprofit. I have personally observed this organization in operation several times. To see lives of teens change before your eyes is something to behold. SOLE Effects' emphasis is on building leadership skills in 7th, 8th and 9th graders. Additionally, it is eye-opening to see the personal growth of the college interns. Recently I overheard one of SOLE's interns state, "This program has UNLEASHED me, and now I feel I know my PURPOSE!" He is now the lead guide and will be for 3 additional years. He is active in on-line fundraising and has recently participated in the making of a newly released video for SOLE Effects.
I highly recommend SOLE Effects be placed on the list of "GREATNONPROFITS" for 2018!

Hagen J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SOLE Effects may seem as if it is not that much of a big deal, but I am here to tell you otherwise. My name is Hagen Javier, and in less than a year, I have found my passion through SOLE Effects. I have learned so much about myself and those around me. Through the process of self reflection from teaching, I changed my ways and started following through with my actions. Never have I ever been involved in anything where the main goal 100% of the time is helping a friend in need, being true to yourself, and just being a good person. I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to know how many lives you change in such a short time.

I believe in SOLE Effects more than anything I have ever been apart of. The program has endless potential and the purest motives you can think of. Not only should it be in every college in America, but I believe it can go global as well. Every person in the world has one thing in common: The ability to be a good person. This is not only what SOLE Effects teaches, but instead what comes naturally with involvement in the program.

It is an honor to be at the start of this organization, and a privilege to see where it will go.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a part of SWITCH has definitely switched my life around. SWITCH was not only an internship for me, it was more. It was a way for me to share my stories and challenges in hope to encourage students that life does go on even after the obstacles we face. I took on the internship because I wanted to make an impact on people's lives but I came out with many memories and lessons learned. From tears being shed to uncontrollable laughter, we went through it all together! At first it was difficult for the students to open up and speak but by the end of the 8 sessions we made some powerful bonds with many of the students. I had an incredible experience and can't wait for next year!

Advisor

Rating: 5

It continues to be an honor & pleasure to work with the SWITCH team of leaders. I am in my 3rd year of advising for SWITCH. It is amazing to watch the college students flourish as they challenge themselves through their connections with middle & high school students. At the same time the middle and high school students learn in a small group setting with their peers about relevant & critical topics in our society today. To me this model has the potential to change lives and school campus climates in a very important, positive way. I will continue to work with SWITCH and promote it as a positive for all school campuses.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of volunteering as a leadership coach for SOLE Effects in 2017. This is a wonderful 8-week program that is fun, engaging, and what I believe to be vital for young teens to experience. It is 8 weeks of positive interaction in which students learn about topics ranging from body image to healthy relationships at such a crucial point in their lives. Not only did SOLE Effects make me a better leader, it made me a better human being as I was positively influencing teenagers to stay on course to lead fulfilling, healthy lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have so many positive things to say about SOLE Effects, I do not know where to begin. My internship with SOLE Effects was one the best experience that I have ever had. Everyone that I met and worked with were extremely friendly and passionate about helping others. SOLE Effects' curriculum, volunteers, and leaders truly represent the organization's mission to grow strong leaders through influential role models. They make sure that students and members of the community not only receive a message about leadership, but that they understand it's importance and get the tools they need to be strong leaders - and have fun while doing it! SOLE Effects is more than just a non-profit organization, it is a family, a family that will always offer support and care. They truly believe in you. SOLE Effects changed my life, they made me believe in myself. If you ever have a chance to be a part of their program, TAKE IT!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an amazing experience for students. I was able to witness my daughter practice, in her daily life, what she learned from the Sole Effects' sessions. Skills in leadership, positive life-style choices, staying healthy, having a positive mindset, and being confident were the "take-aways" for her- giving her the foundation to navigate successfully in High School.

Zach C.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SOLE Effects doesn't just host awesome leadership groups, assemblies and events. They change lives by investing in people. I have been fortunate enough to provide videography services to SOLE Effects. They have allowed me to express my creativity and experiment in the art of media. I started volunteering my time as an 8th grader. Looking back three years later, I can say that my experience with them has been invaluable. Because of all the great opportunities they've given me, today I'm working to pursue my passion and make it my career.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to work for Sole Effects this past year as a leadership coach. This program was able to change the lives of hundreds of middle school students right before our eyes. Watching these students evolve was an incredible sight to see. I truly believe that the methods Sole Effects uses to change the lives of these students is powerful and successful. There was not a single day that I didn't feel myself being affected by all of my students. Sole Effects gave me the opportunity to teach young boys and girls how to be secure in their bodies and their minds. This program is meant to give each kid and coach a healthy self esteem. Junior high can be a tough time in a child's life and Sole Effects is there to give students structure and advice on how to live their healthiest life, both physically and mentally.

When I first began my time with Sole Effects I thought I had everything figured out. It wasn't until I really started working with my students that I realized there was still so much more to learn. My main goal was to build each child up so that whatever event or person comes in there life that tries to bring them down, they will be unsuccessful. It was important for me to try and give them the strength that I was missing at their age. The videos and experiences that the coaches and I were able to share opened up their eyes to real life situations and solutions to issues. It showed them that everyone has their own struggle and that it is alright to talk about those struggles.

The change I was able to see was incredible. The students new found confidence radiated from their faces the last week of the program. These kids were able to teach me so much more about myself that I never knew. It was the most amazing feeling to see students who had started off a little reserved end up with a positive and healthy friend group surrounding them. I felt confident by the end of this program that each student was walking away with something that they had lacked before. I would do this program over and over again just to see the impact it has on its students. I loved every moment of everyday while I was working with this non-profit. I would give it my highest recommendation to students, parents and college students who want to make a difference in the lives of our youth. This was by far the most inspirational program I have ever worked with!

Philip V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SOLE Effects has greatly impacted my life and helped guide me onto the path I am currently on. January of 2016 I signed up to volunteer for this life changing organization with hopes that I would discover if I could possibly be a leader. I had very low self-esteem and felt unworthy of the leader roll.

Most of us have a troubled past that haunts us and quite possibly deters us from reaching our goals. My childhood was very troubling which caused me to reach out for influential leaders. I wanted someone in my life I could look up to. I once heard that in order to be successful you must surround yourself with people you aspire to be. By sticking to this motto, I found myself one semester away from graduating with a BA in psychology. My success story is thanks to the mentors I surrounded myself with growing up. It is the reason why i reached out to SOLE Effects, I so deeply believed in their cause that I hope to one day mirror the impact this organization has on the developing minds of oir youth.

My experience with this organization was a challenging one that pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I spoke in front of 80 middle school kids "assembly style" sharing my stories of weaknesses and triumphs with the hopes that they could see that they can achieve anything as long as they keep in mind our montra to Step out (of conformity, the social boundaries, or norms) and change the game (Be the change you want to see in the world)! I helped develop some of the rubric with Mrs. Ogden spening countless hours at a coffee shop trying to make it perfect for the mentors to deliver the message and the young adolescents to revieve it. The most game changing part for me was being the leader among my peers. I had to relay our vision of SOLE Effects to my peers and try to amp them up to be as passionate about changing the game as I am.

I finished my volunteering with SOLE Effects with something more valuable than money could ever buy. The exlerience and knowledge of what it takes to be a leader and shape others to be leaders as well.

I can't thinknof any reasons why any person wouldn't want to be invlolved with this program. It's one pf the few things in the world that has only one motivation and that is making sure the adolescents in the world have the necessary keys to open the doors to their bright futures.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having Volunteered at SOLE Effects, in Spring of 2017, I walked away from that experience with a whole new energy. In my experience at SOLE Effects, I got to be the leader of the SWITCH program, help train future leadership coaches, and even assist in raising money for SOLE Effects by pitching their idea to school's and grant committees. The whole semester got me to take an inner look into who I am and what I want from life.

While volunteering with SOLE Effects, I also was applying for colleges to finish my degree. I got accepted into NYU's undergraduate program at Stern School of Business, the number 2 school in the nation for my degree in Finance! I have always been a strong student, yet NYU had initially rejected my application the year before. I am a firm believer that volunteering with SOLE Effects played a role in my acceptance there.

I am forever grateful to Kevin and Karen for all their mentorship and belief in who I am. They are all about empowering others to be their best selves, and I HIGHLY recommend SOLE Effects for any college student looking to volunteer, school looking to help their students grow, and philanthropists looking to make a difference. SOLE Effects is that difference.

Arlene Lochridge

Donor

Rating: 5

As an older senior citizen, retired educator, volunteer and donor, I am incredibly inspired and encouraged by SOLE Effects' inter-generational approach. My observations of their SWITCH program, with relevant curriculum that's personalized, has been proven to be highly effective in meeting the goals outlined in their mission statement. By partnering with our nearby university's business department, using their senior interns as "coaches", SOLE Effects has created a community-based approach to aiding our youth in becoming future leaders for our country. Please offer your support to this outstanding non-profit which provides critical needs for our youth.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this organization for three years now I'm the SWITCH program and every year I see amazing growth with the community, the volunteers and the students. They helped me find my voice in this world and everyone is so caring and helpful. I would highly recommend getting involved with them in any way possible.

JanetDepew

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sole Effects is an amazing program that I am honored to be a part of as a member of the Sole Effect’s board. I am a former teacher and counselor of 35 years, and now retired, find that my own passion for what I did all of those years in education is able to be carried on in a most meaningful way. After seventeen years working at the middle school level, I watched as the needs of our students changed dramatically; becoming even more challenging for them to navigate the social fabric we all inhabit, which has been significantly impacted in a fast paced world of non-stop stimulus and technology. The family unit, also affected by the pressures of both parents having to work to make ends meet, students often trying to figure things out for themselves, teachers realizing how much of their day is dedicated more and more to the personal/social needs of their students in addition to teaching their subject matter has only continued to increase. Not only did I see it through the 8th grade at the middle school, but then I watched and had to constantly improvise each year with more ways to help our kids at the high school level. Sole Effects, just as a concept, helping students learn from other students, the many facets of navigating the difficult times they live in, and personally ‘just growing up’, could not have come about at a more perfect time. The growth of, not only our role models from the college level, but also their influence on the young minds and hearts of the students they work with, is more than amazing. The changes are being seen in the lives of students who are so positively being affected by the teachings and positive influences of the lessons of Sole Effects. I am sure with time; this program will become the model for programs across the state, and will continue to be relevant in the lives of students. The significance of the Sole Effects program, sown here in Poway, is only the beginning of the direction schools everywhere will find inspiring and a most welcome addition to meeting the needs of all our children to become strong, confident leaders who will ‘pass it forward’. Making a donation, no matter how small, will be returned in the most meaningful way, through our kids.