As a longtime donor and volunteer, I am a huge fan of SBCS. Every time I see the children at Mi Escuelita, I know that my money and time is helping to improve the lives of our community’s most vulnerable children. As a parent, it is important to me that children be given every chance to succeed in the face of adversity and I feel like SBCS works hard to make a positive and lasting impact on the children of Mi Esculeita and their families.
Need to take care of their employees. Not the directors the actual people that do ALL the hard work that are told there are freezes on raises yet directors get raises (One director even boasted about getting a raise when employees were informed months earlier of the freeze). Employees are expendable, very sad. No room for career growth. The people in the trenches are great and are dedicated to the clients, management is another story.
Review from Guidestar
I would never recommend anyone to work there. I was hired part time and was doing full time work in my department (of course volunteer) while supervisors were trying to find someone with a Masters Degree to do the same thing that I was doing. Their reason for not hiring me, "I haven’t been with the company long enough to apply for the position" BUT I WAS DOING THAT JOB! It was also an extremely hostile environment, I never felt comfortable and my bosses would go to me and openly admit that she was gossiping about me to staff. All because I asked someone what would happen if my company phone breaks?
The San Diego Reader article from February 17 was quite an expose of this organization. Anyone interested in this organization should read this article. It is shocking from so many perspectives.
It discusses what looks like a pattern of falsification and what looks like a cover up and retaliation against the whistle-blowers. It appears the courts found evidence enough to proceed with a trial and that otherwise significant settlements were paid. It appears that Ms. Lembo was not even aware of the court documents that existed, namely what appears to be her own internal investigation which seemed to confirm that falsification occurred despite what she says.
This scandal occurred in the same year as the issue regarding Ms. Lembo awarding her own Board Member with a major contract and then failing to report it as required by IRS law.
The salaries of the administrative staff here and what appears, via another commentator, to be incestuous hiring practices ( Board Members and relatives of key staff), are of concern as well.
Certain non-profits seem to loose their way and this seemes to be one of them.
Review from Guidestar
I have always known that there are many agencies out there who provide assistance to those in need. However, when I came across South Bay Community Services I was impressed with the variety of services they offer for families and kids. I had the opportunity to be a volunteer at their agency and I must say, it was a great experience. I was able to meet several of the staff members and experienced how they are caring individuals who want their clients to succeed. In my experience South Bay Community Services is always willing to offer a helping hand to those who are in need and in order to better serve the community they always strive to provide their employees with the right tools and knowledge.
Review from Guidestar
The shocking thing here is that probably this isn’t the first something like this has occurred in this organization. They just got caught this time. After all……..Who is really watching here??? How many others have benefited from such “deals”? Also, I was shock to hear some the high salaries the management team receives, shocking!!!!! For a non-profit organization that is committed to helping the community it seems like they are more interested in helping themselves first! Shame on you!!!
To be fair…..I do believe that there are some good people that work here but it seems like the poor quality of leadership is bringing this organization down.
I have over 18 years in working with at-risk in education (teacher, coordinattor and Assistant Principal). In my opinion, this is one of the top social service organization in country and led is by a group of people that are true visionaries in the field. They are smart, dedicated, have high integrity and very hard working. They deliver on their promises and produce outstanding results. They care about people and care about getting results. I highly recommend them without reservation.
My direct involvement with SBCS goes back a few year to 2006. At the time I was working as the After School Program Coordinator and a short time later as the Assistant Principal at Granger Jr. High School. Back then, Granger was a typical low performing inner city school: low test scores, apathetic/unmotivated students, unsafe campus (gangs, drugs, bullying, fights) and high absenteeism (lowest student attendance rate in the district). Many teachers were unhappy with the school and some had lost hope in our students.
From 2003-2006 we designed and continued to develop and implement the framework of a new type of academic program that was based on making homework and tutoring mandatory. Our test scores increased all three years so we knew we were on to something good but also understood we had a long way to.
Despite the progress, we were dissatisfied with the level of service we were receiving from our community partner (well known non profit in the area). After many meetings over two years trying to hash out the issues we had with them, we finally concluded that this agency was just not motivated and too set in their ways to improve their level of service. Our goal was to turn our school around and had lost patience working with an organization that was used to getting district contracts due to their political connections instead of the quality of service.
We looked round for an agency to partner with a good reputation in our area. We interviewed several but came away most impresses after meeting with Mauricio Torre and Xavier Martinez from SBCS. They listened to our frustrations and seemed to really understand our needs. We were cautiously optimistic as we entered into a trial MOU agreement to have them coordinate our after school program. From the very beginning both of these gentlemen produced on all their promises and went beyond the call of duty to make the partnership succeed.
Under this partnership with SBCS, Granger's academic scores soared (API score increased from 604 to 698). GJH was transformed from a dysfunctional/low performing school to one of the top schools in the state (2010 recognized the highly coveted Schools To Watch designation). A couple of years later SBCS was hired to implement the same program at National City Middle School (NCM). Test scores improved immdeiatley.
Many other schools in the district took notice and have since entered into contracts with SBCS to provide similar academic intervention programs for them. I now work at a high school in the district and one of the first things I did was to consult with SBCS to hire staff and implement a similar academic support and intervention program.
My personal experience as a Southwest Middle School after school tutor through South Bay Community Services is one that I will always remember. Next time I have an opening in my schedule I will be their again to experience such a rewarding opportunity. Being able to mentor students at that level made me feel like I was in middle school all over again. Such an opportunity is priceless on my menu. The positive energy kids are so good at transmitting made me contribute to it and make it grow. It was great to help them with their math homework and to inform them about all of the career possibilities that are out their waiting for them to scoop them up.
I lived in the South Bay area during the 1980's and I can assure you that this community has improved immensely and I truly attribute it to all to the services that South Bay Community services have provided to the families in this area. In particular, I would like to mention the Academic Counseling provided to the local middle schools in South Bay. The professionalism I observed on a daily basis was admirable, not only between staff but with employees as well. In addition, the nurturing relationships they have with the students promotes well-being and helps them excel in their studies and increase their self-confidence. Many students informed me that their parents saw a change in them. They seemed more in control of their emotions, therefore, able to communicate more effectively. I truly hope that South Bay Community Services expand their programs to be able to serve all the families in this area that have a need for a helping hand.
thank you SBCS for such a great experience!!
SBCS served over 75% of our students at our school by mentoring, tutoring, and counseling them through various programs that were offered by SBCS. SBCS had well-trained, energetic staff members who worked with over 200 students daily in the mentorship program as well as the after school homework assistance program. The students in which the staff members built close relationships with now have a higher sense of security after their first semester of beginning middle school, as well as higher grades and test scores.