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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sunset Youth Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Crime & Law, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Inmate Support, Job Training, Youth Violence Prevention

Mission: To foster long-term stability and growth in high-risk youth and families through caring relationships and supportive services.

Results: In Fiscal Year 2019: • Over 500 individuals served • Over 100 young people engaged in job training and employment • 150 families accessed family support services • 55 young people participated in digital arts programs while in juvenile detention • For 5+ years, over 90% of formerly incarcerated young people who receive case management services do not re-offend

AWARDS

• 2019 Winner of SF Symphony's Ellen Magnin Newman Award

• 2018 Leadership Peacemaker Award by the Community Boards

• 2017 California Nonprofit of the Year

Programs:

Justice Services: Supported by case managers—who provide ongoing encouragement, crisis counseling, and referrals to services as well as education and career guidance—justice-involved young people break patterns of violence, meet probation requirements and court mandates, achieve stability, and reach personal educational and employment goals.

Workforce Development: This program helps high-risk youth and young adults rekindle hope and break free from destructive patterns by providing supportive trauma-informed services, incentivized job training, and employment opportunities needed to build stable lives.

Digital Arts & Technology: This program provides youth with access to and training for digital film and audio recording technology to tell their stories. Youth also have access to a computer lab for Internet use and e-mail accounts as well as homework and games.

Family Support: Our trauma-informed Family Success Coaches (one of whom speaks Mandarin) meet weekly with families in crisis and help them identify needs, brainstorm options, establish parenting goals, and practice positive parent-child interactions. Services include referrals, advocacy for children in the public school system and juvenile-justice system, research-based parent education workshops, parenting classes, family-bonding outings, and a weekly food pantry.

Healing Arts: We provide trauma-recovery groups with mental and behavioral health activities to create emotional/relational safe spaces, reduce episodes of personal violence, and promote healing and growth.

Community Stories

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I am well aware of the amazing work that SYS has been doing for the San Francisco community for many years. They have a unique place to help support, train and elevate at-risk youth as they transition to full-time employment and fulfilling careers. Ron, Dawn and the rest of the staff do an outstanding job connecting with youth to provide a safe space for training and to identify job opportunities to help catapult their clients to successful careers.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been aware of and supporters of Sunset Youth Services for several years.  They are an organization that support the most marginalized youth and families in San Francisco.  Their emphasis is on creating a safe and supportive environment for these high-risk individuals.  They do this with a well-trained, supportive and dedicated staff.  Their programs include justice services to help those with legal problems (they have an incredibly low recidivism rate of 10%), job training to help these at-risk kids gain confidence and be able to integrate back into society in a self-sufficient way, family support services and a healing arts program. It gives us great pleasure to support such a worthwhile organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services was very helpful and would often ask me what kind of help I needed. They care about my family and are eager to help me get the resources and information I need. Invite us to movie nights, holiday events and send me gift cards. I really appreciate them.

Nigo N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sunset youth service is awesome. They provide parenting, family and financial support. I have been join their Positive Parenting Class, Family Movie Even and Halloween Even….. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we receive the relief gift card from SYS. The staffs are very helpful and responsible. They help me and family a lot.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is the best organization I have ever worked with. Every member of the team is dedicated and put their hearts into helping kids and young adults. Over the years the organization has changed to meet the needs of the community. They aren't afraid to try new things. Their work really speaks for itself.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm fully grateful to SYS that it provides me with the needs (finance & mental health support, etc) for my family. I'm a single parent of two children and unemployment. We hardly survive without SYS these years. More importantly, the staff serve their clients very closely like family. I never walk out their office without a smile! I appreciate and love SYS!!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Sunset Youth Services for over five years and have been continually impressed by the level of dedication and service they provide for at risk youth in our community. Through the broad range of programs offered including justice services, family support, artistic development and workforce training, they provide individualized care to each person as well as a safe and loving space. What stands out most to me is the commitment of staff to each youth to empower them to be the best version of themselves, giving continual support in self-esteem and love. Evidence of their continued success is the low recidivism rates. I cannot recommend this organization highly enough.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a SF Native who was an advocate and cheerleader of all SYS offers. I also work at a partner of SYS and it has been an absolute dream to become a Board Member. With it serving the most challenged youth in San Francisco and being centered around joy and harmony it’s truly magical. From the Board Members, Volunteers to the dedicated and well-trained staff their strength and perseverance make the spaces that they manage, events they host and work they do mean so much more than one can put into words. It’s heartfelt first and spirit felt during and challenging to put in words. The services and programs for the children and often families of the community are built on just that Community. When you have been consistent and have been long-term stakeholders it shows. San Francisco has a multitude of various Community Based Organizations, Non-Profits, For-Profits, and various spaces and we are extremely rich in them unlike other spaces. It is so important to support in various ways non-profits who do the front line work without looking around for others to take the lead. SYS as an entity do the work and the support that it needs to receive should at minimum match that! I am honored to know anyone that has to do with such an amazing organization. I hope to support them in all I can over the years.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services is an amazing place that serves the in risk youth and families in San Francisco. It is the relationship building that is making a lasting impact on the youth and families. It is amazing to see the some of the youth who were the recipients of SYS services are now part of staff at SYS and are giving back to the community. This just shows how special SYS is and what an impact they have made in their lives.

SYS focuses on one individual at a time and through the lens of healing the whole person. There are so many areas which draw youth and families to come to SYS - Digital arts & technology, workforce development, justice services, family support and healing arts.

Justice services has a 90%+ non-recidivism rate - the percentage of youth who did no re-offend while in the program. That is an incredible number, which shows how SYS works with each individual, sees them as the special and amazing person that they are and cares for them.

Despite all the changes and challenges the youth and families face, the one constant is the love that the SYS has for the youth and families. They are there for them, to give them hope, to cheer them on so that they know they are valued and loved.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services continues to make big impacts of the lives of youth and young adults. I am particularly proud of being able to help develop workforce training and job opportunities for young adults. The programs are great but it's really the relationship building that makes the biggest difference. Larger nonprofits can learn from SYS!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services is making a positive impact on San Francisco in-risk youth everyday. It is my privilege to volunteer for this terrific community organization and help young people survive, heal and thrive. I am particularly proud of our efforts mentoring youth, teaching life skills and inspiring youth through the digital arts.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services definitely is the best !
I’ve been joined their Positive Parenting program ,
field trip , online movies and lots of family supports events.
It takes a Village to raise a child. Sunset Youth services is my village. Especially thanks for Ms. Peng having my back. I couldn’t have done it without you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took Triple P Parenting classes in the evening with Sunset Youth Services and I learned so much about parenting teens and parenting in general. I took the class more than several times and each time it felt like the first time. The executive director, family success coach, and staff were always very welcoming and engaging with the parent(s) that attended the classes. The parents formed a close bond with SYS and their respective parent cohort groups. SYS always made sure we were well fed, had childcare for those of us with younger kids, and provided transportation to and from the classes. Even during Covid when the classes were done on Zoom, Sunset Youth Services had hot meals delivered to our homes and provided Safeway gift cards to ensure we were fed. They are very generous in making sure families are able to attend the parenting classes and will do everything to ensure families are taken care of. Also, SYS makes the parenting classes fun by rewarding us with chocolates or SYS swag for positive parenting behavior. The work they do goes beyond their workshops and classrooms. One time, I was having a big issue with my younger child and I was really struggling with what was going on inside that head of hers and I turned to the executive director for help. She took time out of her extremely busy schedule to meet us in person (prior to Covid) at her office. She spent a good couple of hours with us and I left knowing more about what was going on with my youngest child and practical solutions to our challenges.

If there is anyone that works the hardest to ensure our parenting classes go smoothly, it would be the family success coach M. She keeps us organized, on time, fed, informed, and many more behind the scenes things she does to make our experience seamless.

It is clearly evident that SYS does the great work they do because they truly and genuinely care about all their clients and are passionate about their mission. The ED and staff work tirelessly to help others. They are saints. Through the years, I have seen them help so many from all walks of life. They truly have made a big impact on the community.

We are blessed to have SYS! With gratitude!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sunset youth services has been such a hugs factor in my life. They raised me, after struggling so many times they have never left my side. I don’t have the best family but my adopted family is amazing , as a teenage mom they instilled so much into me that helps me be the best mom I can even until now. Through laughing tears anger and everything in between they have never given up on me. Sunset youth services is a non profit full of angels ! I’m proud to have them and forever grateful!

Evelyn T.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beyond grateful for SYS and the services they have provided to my family and many others. This place is such a safe and fun environment where you can be your self and allows to express your creativity which many youths sometimes need help finding that.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services stays true to their mission of being extended/surrogate family for their clients. They understand that the relationships with staff and case managers are the much needed anchor for their kids. All of the other activities are designed to give them great developmental experiences, just like a family would do.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a really innovative non profit that really understands its clients. They provide supportive relationships and great skill building, with the result of a 90+% non-recidivism rate for five years running!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services continues to do amazing work with young people and their families during a very unique time. While many social services have had to shift the ways in which they deliver services, the staff at Sunset Youth Services are delivering services with empathy, connecting with clients digitally and in-person, and developing avenues to engage the community.

I am most impressed by the ways in which Sunset Youth Services staff have leaned into digital communication with clients AND provided physical services such as meal delivery and justice advocacy.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I attended their spring gala that features their work in the community as well as many of the community members and clients that they work with. It is inspiring to see dedicated staff work alongside their clients to pull off an amazing event.

Worth noting is the recently launched Upstar TV in partnership with SF Commons Public Access TV. Just as Sunset Youth Services and their Upstar Records has had a positive impact through music production and employment opportunities, Upstar TV expands the impact of their youth empowerment focus by creating additional opportunities for skill development while celebrating the successes of featured artists.

Read more
Selena G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been coming to SYS since I was in my Jr. year of highschool, back in 2013. I remember walking into the art room and there was a studio that wasn't there the previous day. I went in and started to sing and they recorded me. I later asked what this was all for and got introduced to SYS for the first time. I then started to go to the center where I was able to make some incredible bonds with many people that genuinely care for every person they come across. Everything from the music, to the people and the food made it feel like a home away from home. Now at 25, I am a mom to a beautiful babygirl and both me and my partner had been going to SYS since our highschool days and being able to share that space with out baby is such a beautiful thing to be able to do. They still provide us with services such as food boxes, case management and mental health services. They meet with you right where you're at and when you need them. One of the best experiences I been able to have since the age of 17. Thank you for everything you do SYS! LOVE YALL!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a longtime donor and volunteer at Sunset Youth Services (SYS). I have had the honor and privilege to witness firsthand the incredible impact this nonprofit makes in our community, especially among systems-involved families and at-risk youth and young adults in San Francisco and surrounding communities. The everyday work that SYS does oftentimes goes unseen but for the marginalized communities that SYS serves, receiving these services are key to their sheer survival in his harsh world –– even more so during this time of Covid. 

To say that the SYS staff wear many hats is a major understatement. SYS provides services that encompass so many of their clients' needs, that it's hard to put in a neat paragraph the breadth to which they are a lifeline to their clients. On any given day, you will find SYS staff accompanying a client at court, attending an IEP meeting, counseling a family whose child committed suicide, helping plan a funeral for a baby who tragically died,  giving an at-risk young adult just starting out a weekly food box, helping a foster youth produce his next hip hop album, helping an undocumented family get legal assistance, helping a single mom secure safe shelter away from domestic abuse, or educating parents whose children have been removed by CPS with strategies to how best to talk to their teen––just to name a few.
 
SYS also is often one of the primary advocates and activists fighting for justice reform. SYS was an instrumental community voice in helping close down the Juvenile Justice facility in San Francisco.  SYS also works closely with the school district to advocate for at-risk youth to have the tools they need to complete their high school diploma, and even offers a continuation high school on its premises.

As a regular volunteer delivering Food Bank boxes to families, I have seen firsthand the tragic toll that Covid-19 has taken on our already marginalized and stretched communities. Yet, I have also seen sheer beauty arise from ashes in these same clients who have been empowered by SYS with the tools to produce outstanding hard-hitting music and talk-show productions on Youtube.  I have also seen these same clients pay it forward each week by taking extra food boxes to other SYS clients who aren't able to be there personally for the food dropoff times. 

When the evening news reports yet another murder or shooting––SYS staff often know the people involved, and sadly, sometimes it is one of their clients. This proves how closely tight knit and entwined SYS staff are with the surrounding community it serves. The systematic injustice and racism as well as the ongoing trauma and PTSD is intense. However, SYS staff faithfully show up everyday and come alongside these families and young adults with the love and practical services that these precious souls need at their darkest hour. Without SYS, their clients would be left abandoned to fend for themselves in a cruel system that crushes systems-involved families over and over again.

As part of their prevention strategies, SYS also runs parenting classes to equip parents to break cycles of violence and disconnection. I have had the privilege to participate in their Triple P Parenting classes, where I have seen firsthand how the staff at SYS bring their authentic love and much needed down-to-earth wisdom to help systems-involved parents (some of whom are taking the class to fulfill court orders to regain custody of their children). In these classes, SYS staff help these parents to feel safe, loved, accepted and heard in a world that has often forgotten them or written them off as unworthy.

This is a small glimpse of the extensive ways SYS is quietly yet powerfully a vital lifeline to the clients they serve. The impact and legacy of their work will affect not only this generation but many generations to come, especially in the marginalized communities they serve. This is why I donate and volunteer for SYS and am committed to doing all I can to make sure they are here for our community for decades to come. 

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Donor

Rating: 5

I support and volunteer with Sunset Youth Services because of their focused and incredibly effective work mentoring and providing services to the most at risk and forgotten youth and young adults in our city. The leadership at SYS provides that safe and emotionally healthy "forever family" that many of the young men and women that walk through their doors will honestly not find at very many nonprofits in the city serving this population.

Among the variety of services SYS provides to its youth and young adults, the ones that stand out to me are the intensive parent trainings, the vocational job development services and the performance art opportunities that SYS has created for these youth to grow and thrive in a positive environment

However, one of the main reasons I support SYS is because of their extensive case management and crisis intervention services. The SYS staff actually spend most of their days journeying with their clients through the really hard stuff - going with them to court, grieving with them when a family member is killed, advocating for them at special education school meetings, helping them find emergency housing, visiting them at the hospital, holding their hands through a mental health crisis, and the list goes on and on and on.

SYS provides a crucial safety net for these young men and women through its holistic family-centered approach, and in doing so, they are putting a stop to the pervasive school to prison pipeline every single day. Thank you Sunset Youth Services for your incredible work with one of our city's most vulnerable populations.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SYS offers a variety of services for families, but my experience with them was with the teen parenting class and the teen parenting support group.
The class was free, as were the materials, with both the in-person format and the more recent Zoom-based version.
I found the information (presented via workbooks, video, and live discussion) highly valuable and pertinent to my family, and would recommend the class to all parents with teens or soon-to-be teens in their household.
The support group is also great for parents needing a safe, non-judgmental space to talk about and share their experiences.
I feel that the greatest strength of SYS is the
staff. These people are compassionate, knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated to supporting the families and community they serve, and frankly, they do it very well.
I encourage you to check out their services and reach out to them should you feel they could help.
This review is written by a full-time single father of 5 who is grateful and appreciative of the support received from the fine folks at Sunset Youth Services.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Excellent parenting programs with all the support you need

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I appreciate all the work SYS is doing in the community. It is so important to invest in our young people. I went to the gala this year and was so impressed by all their students, programs, and creativity!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of being a board member for Sunset Youth Services (SYS) for the last several years and have had the opportunity to see first hand the dedication of Dawn Stueckle, the Executive Director of SYS, and her staff to the underprivileged and challenged youth of San Francisco. These at-risk youths are challenged in every aspect of their lives--they have unstable family relationships, are unable to perform in school, are devalued as individuals and lack self-esteem. Basically, society has cast them off and has sent the message that they are not wanted. SYS has adopted a philosophy of developing an Attachment Community with these individuals. The staff become involved in their lives, develop new relationships with them, interrupt and deconstruct old concepts of self-worth and infuse these "castoffs" with a sense of purpose, dignity, love and self-esteem. They do this through Digital Arts Programs (they have their own record company, UpStar Records and UpStar TV); Family Support Programs that teach positive, supportive family dynamics; Work Force Development Programs that teach job and personal skills that facilitate entry into the work force and the dignity associated with being self-sufficient; and by providing Justice Services that help these kids navigate the complexities of the justice system, supported by highly trained and experienced case managers. The success of these programs is reflected in the fact that the recidivism rate is only 10%--90% of the individuals do not re-offend!! To see a highly trained, dedicated staff become intimately involved in the lives of our most vulnerable population and to see the positive results of these efforts is heart-warming and a blessing. The work of SYS is inspiring and exemplary.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services is celebrating its 25th anniversary--an incredible milestone when considering the demanding, time-consuming and challenging work that they do. SYS serves the most challenged youth in San Francisco--the forgotten and neglected ones--the ones with few resources, little to no family support, difficulty with authority and often times frequent encounters with the juvenile justice system. The dedicated and well-trained staff provide services and programs for these kids that are built on developing long-term relationships that provide love, stability, job training and self-esteem with the goal of integrating them into society and making them productive members of our community. As an indication of their success, the recidivism rate of the youth they work with is 10% compared with a 70% rate in those who don't have the opportunity to work with organizations like SYS. Another indication of their success is that SYS was named 2017 California Nonprofit of the year. This is a wonderful organization performing vital services to our most needy youth of San Francisco

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with SYS for about 3+ months.

The best part about SYS is the people. They put a lot of work in helping children and families.

It's been a pleasure serving with these folks!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an amazing nonprofit that changes lives through building deep caring relationships within the community (staff and members alike) and through supportive services to foster long-term stability and growth

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I live near to the Sunset Youth Community Center and I am a periodic volunteer, as well as a regular donor. Their presence and program is desperately needed amongst a population of youth and families who are not just at risk, but who are in risk. They provide. I have witnessed how the quality and skill of the people working here, their integrity and their sincere care and loving presence is transforming lives.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services is doing some of the most incredible work of any youth center, possibly any non profit, I have ever seen. If every city in the world had them, we would have a much more hopeful future for our species.

1 Fillmore94115

Donor

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services started as a grass roots neighborhood organization over 25 years ago and has since grown into a multi-service organization for youth at risk. The compassionate leadership recognizes the potential in each one of their kids and gives them the encouragement and positive recognition they need and deserve. The SFPD and SF Public defender seek them out as partners in their efforts to help those who might otherwise be in trouble. They provide love, care, training, companionship, friendship, and so much more. Their work is priceless. Bonnie Wong, a former Board Member.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter (and former Board Member) of SYS for over 20 years and will continue to do so in the years ahead. They are a grass roots organization deeply seeped in unconditional love, compassion, education, and music. Just as their teens have grown into adulthood, the organization also continues to grow in providing parenting, financial, and many other resources and classes for their "kids". The leadership and founders, Dawn Steuckle, Ron Steuckle, Delvin Mack and their home grown staff are amazingly generous with their time, talents, and resources in being a positive presence in the Sunset District in San Francisco.

1 Karen H.19

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services commitment to supporting young parents is outstanding! Offering every kind of support to young parents, including but not limited to, job experience, clothes for the little ones, holiday celebrations and gifts, a free library, parenting classes, education and lots of love! I can't imagine my life without this amazing place that helps support personal growth, community, artistic expression, self care, hope and resilience

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services truly saves lives. As a result of the safe place that Dawn and Ron has provided when I was a lost 13-year old child navigating the world, I have been able to achieve more than my sweetest dreams could’ve ever imagined. Now, as a Vice President at a major media data company, I can honestly say that the love and support that they’ve shown me as an impressionable child has given me the confidence and guidance to be exactly who, what and where I’m supposed to be. I will be forever grateful to Sunset Youth Services for allowing me to be exactly who I was (at the time), giving me the love and confidence that I needed and the tools required to navigate the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am grateful for your patience, unconditional love and support to help me achieve greatness. Keep inspiring this next generation and fill them with the love and compassion that you live by everyday. You are doing God’s work. I am blessed and a better person to have been inspired by your love and support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The best organization ever they have services for parents and youth

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services is packed with passionate, dedicated adults serving some of the most talented, deserving young people in SF.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services has helped me and family in so many ways. From Triple P parenting classes, helping me find mental health resources, helping me become an advocate for my children, and that's just to name a few. Their case managers are terrific. Tasem was a positive male role model when my son was really struggling with learner differences . SYS has always given my son and I opportunities to see great shows and performances that we otherwise wouldn't have been able to see due to cost. I'm grateful for SYS for always being there for me.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful work in San Francisco and truly inspirational transformations happening in the lives of folks receiving services from SYS. Amazing organization!

1 Sam K.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ever since I was a kid, the age of my kid who love SYS now, I have found welcoming, helping, and loving people who became family.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the honor to meet some of the leaders of this program and their hearts are full of passion, patience, and kindness to all who walk in their doors, especially this young generation! Working with youth takes heart especially in this time in age.
I have also had an opportunity to attend a workshop they hosted and I came away with so much insight and a filled heart! Thank you SYS for all you do!

Liz Z.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Sunset Youth Services for over 15 years and have been consistently impressed with the staff and programs. Young people come to Sunset Youth Services to find a safe place to process the challenges they face, and the expert staff are there to listen with compassion and connect them with resources. SYS is family to many of these young people and provides the caring relationships they need. I love this place!

1 Cat S.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found SYS to be a safe space when I was a teen, somewhere I could go when I didn’t know what to do with myself. As I grew up, and had kids, whenever I was in need, they were there. From the women’s group, to the food bank, to parenting classes, they understood the challenges that life could bring, and were there to help provide answers. Other than the services provided, the people there became family. When I was feeling insecure, when my marriage fell apart, when I was questioning my parenting abilities, they always listened. They always had some calming words for me. SYS is a haven in a busy city. I wish there were more places like it, everyone deserves the kind of support they give.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

SYS has been in my life for over 20 years... they are a place where kids can go to receive love, support and positive reinforcement from day to day challenges. They are a true blessing to so many families... they also offer job opportunities, help with your resume, offer studio sessions and more!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The level of Community that Sunset Youth Services is un-matched!!! They’ve always gone out of their way to make any of the Youth that walks through their doors feel welcomed, inspired, and safe.

I’ve been around for 15+ years and have personally seen many of the Youth grow into great Men and Women.

The people who work here are some of the most compassionate, inspiring, and loving group. I’m honored to have had the chance to have these people in my life.

1 Kelly D.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

SYS has been a part of my life since I was in 7th grade. The last 20+ years they’ve supported me with guidance, love, encouragement and support with no judgement just understanding and care. They do so much for troubled youth. And they’ve not once ever given up on any child. They deserve this!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SYS is awesome! It adds richly to the Sunset District and provides incomparable services. I've volunteered here several times, and always have such meaningful experiences here.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so impressed at how co-founders Dawn and Ron have dedicated their lives to the least of these in SF and steered SYS to show society that in risk youth are worthy of value and dignity.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been on the board on Sunset Youth Services for nearly two years and a donor for the past four years, and during this time I've been thoroughly impressed by the hands-on work the organization is doing with in-risk youth in San Francisco. I am very selective about where I donate my money, and Sunset Youth Services have been faithful stewards who accomplish a LOT with the resources they are given. I highly endorse them!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a non-profit that creates real change through positive relationships. I have seen it happen again and again and I have also been privy to the original works of art (music) that are generated here. Kudos to the staff and everyone who makes this place work. It's a true gift to the community.

1 Katelyn D.2

Donor

Rating: 5

SYS is an outstanding nonprofit in the Sunset serving and empowering youth of color from all over San Francisco. Their approach and programs are dynamic, wholistic and humanizing. They are making a tangible difference in the lives of youth by developing them as leaders to impact their families and communities. SYS's reach not only makes a positive change in the Sunset District, but furthermore makes a positive impact in the city as a whole.

1 Kati B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love SYS! they are truly meeting their community where it is at and providing services and programming based on those needs! I learned about SYS when a friend of mine started working there. She was so passionate about the work they are doing and it was so evident how much of a family atmosphere they have there. I think that’s why they are so successful! I was then invited to attend their Gala and go to meet some of the artists that create music in their studio. It was just more evidence that SYS knows what they are doing and they are doing it well! I love that they have multiple ways for people to get involved whether it is through music, the cafe, education programming, parenting classes, etc. They just rock! SF is lucky to have SYS doing there thing in this city!

Michael F.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have journeyed with the founders of Sunset Youth Services (SYS) from the early days of this stellar organization. As the Director of another youth-serving organization in the Sunset from 1996-2012, I had the opportunity to partner with SYS on many important initiatives to support kids and families in the neighborhood. What I have observed for decades, is truly remarkable.

SYS is not really best described as an agency or an organization. They are a "family" that has always given love and support to the children, youth, and adults that no one else could reach.

You often hear agencies state that they "change lives". The team at SYS does it. The amazing staff at SYS has saved and rebuilt the lives of so many people that society would have written off. Ron and Dawn are not only the founders, but they are still leading with heart, love, and passion.

I donate to SYS and would recommend you do too. If you want to make a donation that will make a difference, SYS should be your first choice.

Michael Funk
Director, Expanded Learning Division
California Department of Education

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have gotten to know the staff and the work of Sunset over the past several months during their participation in Young Adult Court, a joint project of the San Francisco Superior Court. Sunset is a tremendous asset to the community where young people can go and learn valuable life skills through expressive arts, vocational training and other services.

Judge Bruce Chan

1

Donor

Rating: 5

"Juvie" (what everyone used to call the local juvenile detention center) seems impenetrable, and kids who head there join some unreachable caste. As an adult I want to break down the walls and get those kids back into the real world, but how? Sunset Youth Services is how. I've watched them walk alongside challenged kids on the outside, and now actually enter inside the buildings to get music into the kids' lives. They know all their client kids by name and by story, and create family among the staff and kids so that those stories take a turn for the better. A music studio in "Juvie"? A recording studio at the youth center? Job training and now a degree option? SYS has figured out some very real ways of making a huge difference.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services is a great organization that really makes a difference in the lives of young people in San Francisco. The people who work at Sunset Youth Services truly care and go above and beyond to help. The work that is being done there is really amazing and a true treasure of San Francisco.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth is amazing! Ron is really dedicated to the youth of SF as he offers a wide variety of assistance. He really goes out of his way to help the youth. Sunset Youth is a place where kids can be kids. Ron is innovative in how he deals with the 18-25 population. He is genuinely caring and really hard working. Clients see his dedication and latch on to it. They find him very easy to work as they make progress towards their goals. Sunset Youth rocks!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services provide incredible services to youth in San Francisco. You can read all about those services in their narrative the other peoples response. I want to talk about the dedication and passion of the staff. I have worked with SYS for many years. When you walk into their door, you immediately feel the warm welcome that pulls you further into the building. The co-founders, Dawn and Ron, have spent time and energy to create a safe and nurturing space for youth. They role model healthy relationships, communication skills, advocacy, going above and beyond, and empowerment. There is no place too far or request too ridiculous that the staff won't go to to fulfill the interest and needs of the youth they serve. I am often impressed with the sense of camaraderie among management and staff as well as the high the level of respect and common decency they share. Its no wonder, the youth they serve speak to the incredible integrity, passion, and commitment that everyone who works at SYS, has.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Sunset Youth Services was founded by people who are genuinely devoted to loving and improving the lives of youth, young adults and their families. All three founders and staff (mostly former program clients) have been serving faithfully for up to 20+ years. With innovative and effective programs involving juvenile case management, legal advocacy, financial literacy, music, technology, and more, Sunset Youth Services' comprehensive approach goes far to sustain children and young adults whom society has disregarded. Here, they have a real opportunity to become healthy, stable and productive members of society. As a donor and former board director, I've seen the results first hand. Please support this invaluable resource to the youth of San Francisco and Bay Area!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

One of SYS beliefs is that all youth are valuable and have a role to play in society, there are no disposable kids. I am amazed at the support and care that happens at SYS. When I visit the youth community center, the staff are always involved in helping a kid or parent work through an issue. The staff and their children attach to one another like parents, children, and siblings through thick and thin. I have been to SYS barbeques and community get-togethers where I see this community live out its beliefs like a family. Kids are encouraged to be themselves through their art, play, music, education, conversation, or parenthood. Everyone is welcome no matter what has happened in their past or where they are in life now. Many of the staff were at one time SYS kids themselves, which gives them a special connection with todays kids and parents. It is a privilige to be involved.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I had been volunteering with Sunset Youth Services (SYS) for over four years before deciding to join their Board of Directors in 2009. I'm so energized to be a Board Member! SYS is a truly amazing organization. Their staff are among some of the most compassionate people I have ever met. The kids they serve are inspiring. I am truly humbled by what some of these kids have been through before the age of 10, and how, with the support of SYS and the programs offered, they have changed their lives around and set the course to be successful adults. Every time I visit the youth center, I'm reminded just how critical the work of SYS really is. Our neighborhoods would not be the same without them.