September 22 Breakfast to Benefit Shoulder To Shoulder

The First Presbyterian Church in Roseville will be the site of Shoulder To Shoulder’s campaign kick-off to “Break the Cy­cle of Fatherlessness” in Del Paso Heights. The event will be held on Wednesday, Sep­tember 22 at 7a.m. and feature breakfast with 200 business and community leaders, success stories and information about how to get involved. Table sponsorships are available; call (916) 285-5422.

Shoulder To Shoulder operates a youth development program for fatherless young men on the campuses of Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Academy and Grant High School in Del Paso Heights. The program provides mentoring, tutoring, character development, and engages youth in community service.

Founder Bill Coibion states, “We teach the keys to a prosperous life: having a goal, a vision, a dream; believing you can achieve it, working hard and avoiding distractions.” The program has served 80 youth since 2007. Last year, 38 students who wanted to join the program could not because of the agency’s limited resources.

According to Gallup, 72% of Americans believe that fatherlessness is our biggest social problem. The absence of a father leaves young men angry, struggling with questions about their identity and ill prepared for life.  Where there is significant fatherlessness, there is significant poverty, leading to lower academic achievement, increased drop-out rates, gang involvement, and subsequent incarceration, while perpetuating the cycle of fatherlessness.

“I love Shoulder To Shoulder,” says MLK Principal Samuel Harris. “The program has im­proved my school tremendously. I have boys who have gone from 1.0 GPA to 3.0 GPA. It has made a powerful difference.”

In Del Paso Heights, approximately 70% of youth live in a fatherless home. Shoulder To Shoulder’s goal this year is to raise $50,000 and recruit 30 volunteers to mentor 60 fatherless young men.

Founded in 1996, Shoulder To Shoulder (STS) is a community-sponsored, faith-based non-profit corporation serving urban fatherless young men from middle school to high school graduation. Our vision is to equip urban fatherless young men for life, enabling them to become well-balanced, mature men in their family and community, breaking the cycle of fatherlessness.

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Freedom Hall Holds Open House Throughout The Year

Open Houses during 2010 at Freedom Hall were held Thursday April 22nd, August 19th, and November 11th. STS expects that individuals from the community will come and learn about what is going on at Freedom Hall. They were able to meet our fatherless young men involved in the mentorship program at Freedom Hall, along with their single moms. The food will be awesome as well as the live music and festive environment. Guests will be able to meet STS staff, volunteers, the Board of Directors, members of our Advisory Board, leaders in the Twin Rivers Unified School District and hear about how Freedom Hall has impacted fatherless young men and their moms.

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Freedom Hall Completes Its Third Year

Freedom Hall, an after-school mentoring program, in its third year of mentoring urban fatherless young men in North Sacramento, operates three days a week working in a team-based environment to develop character growth, improve academic performance, and enhance life skills through long term mentoring from 6th grade through high school graduation. STS exposes urban fatherless young men to area businesses and points of interest they have never had the chance to experience. Academic challenges are held three times during the school year, and the winning teams of young men get to go on fun trips such as: fishing in Lake Tahoe, hiking in the Sierras, camping (where they have experienced snow for the first time!), visit a marine college campus and toured their ocean ship. After enrolling their sons in Freedom Hall, moms have reported positive character changes in their sons’ behavior at home and academic improvement at school at school.

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STS Recognized As Effective Mentoring

The Shoulder To Shoulder Program is a model of effective mentoring that we hope to emulate at other schools within our District

Frank S. Porter, Superintendent Twin Rivers Unified School District

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