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Family Services

Reach & Rise™

Change two lives forever!

The Reach & Rise™ Mentoring Program is a highly successful and nationally recognized YMCA program that was started by Mental Health Professionals at the YMCA of San Francisco to meet social and emotional needs of youth and provide appropriate support to mentors.

Reach & Rise™ trains adult volunteers to assume para-professional therapist roles to develop safe, healthy, and meaningful relationships with youth. It has been conceptualized that trained volunteers could be effective working in a therapeutic relationship.

The program targets:

  • Youth ages 6–17 years

  • Who live and go to school in communities that experience disproportionate rates of poverty

  • Juvenile crime, truancy, single parent households, low educational attainment of parents, and limited interaction time between parents/caregivers and youth


  • Trained adult mentors are matched with youth to help them succeed in life through one-to-one mentoring relationships and therapeutic activities

  • Services will help mentees to express emotions in positive ways and develop the skills they need to grow into productive adults

  • Increase youth connectedness to community/employment

  • Improve youth connectedness to families/schools

  • Increase opportunities for non-familial adults to develop healthy relationships with youth

Research* shows that children who are engaged in mentoring relationships are:

  • 64% more confident of their performance in school

  • 52% less likely to skip school

  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs

  • 33% less likely to engage in violent behavior

*(Public/Private Ventures, 2009)

Results Show

A significant improvement with youth in the following areas:

  • Able to express feelings

  • Having a positive outlook for the future

  • Feeling more confident about self

  • Having a positive attitude towards school and improved behavior in school

Mentors learned/gained:

  • Learned to be more patient and to be a better listener

  • Learned to be a positive role model

  • Gained a better perspective of the pressures and challenges that youth face 

For more information about Reach & Rise™, contact Philip Gomez at:

508-580-7786, or at