Annual Report

SAY San Diego partners with youth, adults, families, and communities to reach their full potential. Our enduring vision is to achieve opportunity, equity, and well-being for all San Diegans.

Message from the CEO and Board President

Dear SAY San Diego Friends and Supporters,

Our region’s “new normal” is simply not OK. In 2023, SAY San Diego acted with urgency following the worldwide public health crisis and local economic crisis, which continued to cause many hardships for San Diego area children, families and communities.

To maximize our impact, we acted in partnership with the community – taking on new challenges, expanding our programs and redoubling our commitments to equity, opportunity, and well-being.

As social advocates, we advocate for local change when the status quo is not enough. Our local status quo has required heightened attention, innovative solutions, and inclusive partnerships. SAY San Diego’s close-up view of local challenges is reflected by data in the recent report from the San Diego Regional Policy and Innovation Center that point to suppressed wages and increased household costs not adding up for families. We see and feel the pain of the 35% of county residents whose households did not earn enough for basic expenses like childcare, housing, food, clothing, or healthcare. Half a million of our neighbors spend more than half of their income on housing. Childcare is out of reach. And if crises occur, the consequences can be catastrophic.

SAY Nancy & Melanie

Championed for change: On the following pages, we have included examples of SAY San Diego’s many solution-oriented efforts to champion and create access to childcare and housing, to build shared community commitment and action, and to give voice to the needs and ideas of youth, residents and community members whose voices may not be otherwise heard by decision-makers.

Served as a community-centered partner: Building on SAY San Diego’s trusted presence in the community and broad scope, we know that partnerships can make a larger difference as we all benefit from expanded resources and reach. Therefore, SAY San Diego has put collaboration first and continued to demonstrate our commitment to partnerships that center on lived experience leaders, youth leaders, culturally specific leaders, peer-to-peer leaders, and local community-based organizations.

Amplified the healing power of relationships: Social connections and supportive, culturally inclusive relationships heal. While well known, this is a key understanding that we draw upon every day at SAY San Diego. Whether titled as a peer, a navigator, a program leader, a case manager, a partner, a community organizer or a coach, SAY San Diego’s staff dedicate themselves to being in our program participants’ everyday lives, through life’s ups and downs, and meeting challenges together. Embedded in this report are key examples of the healing power of SAY San Diego’s relationships.

If you would like to support or learn more about SAY San Diego’s impact, Melanie and I may be reached any time at: and 858-715-2410.

None of SAY San Diego’s impact is possible without you. We are deeply grateful to all who believe in us and who invest in our 52-year long-held vision of a brighter future for all of our neighbors!

With our warm thanks and very best regards,

Nancy Gannon Hornberger 
President and CEO

Melanie Delgado
President, Board of Directors


Celebrating and advancing equity, diversity and inclusion

Bridging gaps and creating opportunities

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder in partnership

Empowering youth-led, family-led, and community-led solutions

Believing in the integrity
of all

Leading with trust
and credibility

Champions for Change

2023 was a year of acting with urgency for SAY San Diego. On the following pages, you will learn about key ways that SAY San Diego continued and broadened its impact as a critical resource for the community, providing services, guidance, voice, and promoting equity and better conditions, countywide. The featured initiatives are among an array of more than 30 community-linked programs and solutions SAY San Diego implements to provide comprehensive resources and improve the family and community ecosystem.

SAY San Diego did not do this work alone, but coordinated and leveraged relationships and resources with many partners to meet individual, family and community needs through collaborative action.

During 2023, SAY San Diego enhanced the lives of more than 30,000 children, families, and community members across San Diego County. Like previous years, SAY San Diego's primary participants were diverse in age, race identity, as well as primary language with over 30 distinct languages reported, including notable increases in Arabic, Farsi, Haitian/Creole, Portuguese, and Chinese speaking clients. Additionally, participants reported experiencing a variety of challenges during 2023 which staff set out to remedy with supportive solutions.

Generating Affordable, Accessible, High-Quality Childcare

Affordable, accessible, high-quality childcare is a triple win – 1) children gain enrichment to support their rapidly developing young brains and early social skills; 2) parents have a safe, nurturing place for their children, allowing them to work; and 3) employers benefit from a stable and reliable workforce. Yet, the community cannot take childcare for granted. Rebuilding childcare and extended care for working parents following the COVID-19 crisis was an ongoing focus for SAY San Diego and its partners during the 2023 fiscal year. The pandemic exacerbated a crisis that has long existed in the region and caused an even greater unmet need for childcare. Through SAY San Diego’s own efforts and those that are being advanced with key partners, SAY San Diego is enrolling more children and helping to create new markets for childcare.

Welcoming Transitional Kindergarteners

As public funding increased for universal transitional kindergarten (UTK) (aka school-based preschool for 4–5-year-olds), SAY San Diego welcomed these children into its extended learning centers across 32 school sites. Many of the children came to the programs after early years of isolation due to the pandemic and without any preschool experience. SAY San Diego was ready to enroll and care for these young children and advocated for expanded services so that children ages 4.0-4.9 years would also be eligible for enrollment in before and after school programs.

In 2023, SAY San Diego enrolled over 200 4–5-year-olds in before and after school programs tailored to their stages of development and looks forward to serving higher numbers of these children in the next school year.

200+ 4 to 5 year-olds received enhanced and unique developmentally tailored before and after school programming.

130% more girls participated in SAY San Diego’s “STEAM” programming than in previous years.

Enriching Students’ After School Learning

In 2023, SAY San Diego provided before and after school programs for over 3,000 students from preschool through grade 8 at 40 sites throughout San Diego. One key enrichment initiative that has steadily grown over the past five years is Full STEAM Ahead focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, for all children at the elementary-age sites. Thanks to a partnership with Northrup Grumman, SAY San Diego’s STEAM-based curriculum gave children new tools and methods to explore creative ways of problem solving, innovating, and presenting informational concepts that they may not otherwise learn in the regular school day.

Since 2021, there has been more than a 130% increase in girls participating in the STEAM curriculum as part of SAY San Diego’s programming.

“When I learn about science and do research, it makes me feel smarter and that I can be anything I want to be. Maybe I will invent a new jet in the future!”
– Aria*, STEAM Student

Recruiting for Maximum Enrollment

Like many, SAY San Diego also suffered from the workforce shortages commonly experienced in 2022 and 2023. While staff sought to enroll as many children and families as possible in the extended care and enrichment programs, such shortages led to lengthy childcare waitlists because safe, high-quality programs could not be run without proper staff ratios in place. Yet SAY San Diego moved the needle by seeking extra help from San Diego Unified School District and Price Philanthropies to support two full-time positions for specialized staff recruitment and retention. As the before and after school sites staffed up in 2023, more children could be enrolled in response to community needs.

In just the first 60 days, SAY San Diego’s new childcare worker recruitment specialists onboarded 56 new staff members in various childcare positions, ensuring more childcare spots for families in need.

Key Partners/Funders

of SAY San Diego’s Child and Youth Development Programs:

San Diego Unified School District, Extended Learning Opportunities Program
Price Philanthropies Foundation
Northrup Grumman
Dr. Seuss Foundation at San Diego Foundation
Revenues from the parents/families of children who participate in SAY’s fee-based childcare and extended learning programs

Serving as a Community-Centered Partner

SAY San Diego’s community engagement approach provides community members, who may feel isolated or powerless, with supported opportunities to be seen, heard, and understood. This approach lifts the voices and ideas of all community members to create inclusive, equitable, and racially-just changes to support all residents. SAY San Diego takes unity in community seriously and conducts community engagement in partnership with many other trusted nonprofits, as well as government, businesses, and all who wish to participate.

Informing Inclusive Change

SAY San Diego has long advocated for a youth-focused office in San Diego City government and supported the creation of the new Office of Child and Youth Success (OCYS), along with many partners. SAY San Diego was then selected to bring community together intentionally to lift the voices of youth and community members and gain their insights. This effort included leading community town halls and focus groups to encourage diverse participants to discuss their ideas and concerns about existing child and youth services and suggest new and expanded resources and programs. SAY San Diego continues to represent youth and families as the OCYS moves forward with a road map and action plan to address disparities, as well as to strengthen, implement, monitor, and sustain child and youth service systems (i.e., a Child and Youth Master Plan).

In 2023, SAY San Diego engaged more than 100 diverse individuals in the virtual town halls and 72 youth, ages 14-25, in focus groups to inform the San Diego Child and Youth Master Plan.

Key Partners/Funders:

City of San Diego, Office of Child and Youth Success
Pendoley Strategies + Communications

"The importance of creating a youth-driven plan cannot be overstated. The leadership of SAY’s and OCYS’ staff and interns in conducting outreach and engagement activities with youth and young adults across the city ensured that youth voices are meaningfully reflected and integrated in the plan."
– Andy Pendoley, Project Partner

Project AWARE Graph

Partnering in Restorative Practices

SAY San Diego has partnered with grassroots organization, Project AWARE, for many years to support youth involved with gangs, and/or delinquency court, many of whom also experience substance use disorder. Project AWARE employs people with lived experience in the justice system, who genuinely understand and empathize with youth and their challenges.

In 2023, SAY San Diego collaborated with Project AWARE for three specific programs- Resilience Mentoring, Project Rejuvenate, and Elevate Youth- through which over 300 hard-to-reach pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults in detention centers, schools, and communities were engaged in trauma-informed restorative services, such as emotional literacy talking circles, peer-to-peer mentoring, and pro-social activities. Approximately 80% of clients reported that their lives had improved after participating in the intensive programming.

Key Partners/Funders:

The Center at Sierra Health Foundation
County of San Diego, Probation Department
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Success Story

Jonathan* was initially a bit apprehensive about enrolling in the Resilience Mentoring program as he was previously given the impression that he “did not do well” in programs. But Jonathan persevered and graduated from the program successfully by attending over 30 restorative talking circles/groups and 18 individual mentoring sessions with his peer mentor though Project AWARE. Additionally, Jonathan developed social and other critical skills in the program that enabled him to complete his probation requirements, disengage himself from gang affiliation and graduate from high school. When asked about his experience, he stated, “My mentor showed me a different perspective and how to live life better...the right way.”

"Project AWARE made me able to have healthier relationships with my family and friends."
– Marcus*, Youth Participant

Over 4,800 lifesaving Narcan® (naloxone) kits were distributed.

Heading off the Fentanyl Crisis

SAY San Diego partnered with the San Diego Harm Reduction Coalition to continue addressing the public health crisis related to opioid abuse and the risks of exposure to fentanyl. This past year, more than 2,300 community residents, including a variety of non-traditional first responders, military personnel, law enforcement, educators, and students, were trained by SAY San Diego staff on the dangers of fentanyl and the use of naloxone/Narcan®.

Over 4,800 Narcan® (naloxone) kits were distributed to the training attendees and other community partners to facilitate potential life-saving measures in the case of fentanyl ingestion or overdose.

Key Partners/Funders:

San Diego Harm Reduction Coalition
County of San Diego, Behavioral Health Services

"It is so important that…the people in our communities become more aware of the dangers [fentanyl] poses to the public. It’s not just certain communities where we see these tragic deaths and it’s not limited to certain demographics. Every community throughout San Diego has had far too many people die from this drug and I sincerely feel that by spreading the word, you will save lives. …keep up the great work."
– Police Officer/Training Attendee

Amplifying the Healing Power of Relationships

Every day, SAY San Diego exemplifies the healing power of authentic, community-connected work, based on thoughtful, inclusive, and safe relationships. SAY San Diego provides educational, therapeutic, and supportive services directly to the community- where residents live, work, attend school, or spend their time. Services are trauma-informed, grounded in evidence-based models, and often engage credible messengers and/or peers with lived experience, which can lead to optimized outcomes and reduced disparities.

Preventing Housing Instability and Homelessness

Due to severe shortages of housing and skyrocketing rental and purchase costs, many members of our community face housing stress, instability and risks of homelessness. Locally, homelessness increased 14% in the past year alone. To act with urgency, SAY San Diego launched two housing navigation initiatives in 2023. The Neighborhood Network program expanded its support to add housing navigators who have a deep understanding of the myriad needs that limit people’s access to resources and to help clients link to housing and other social supports, in collaboration with CalAIM Managed Care to cover associated costs. SAY San Diego also began a partnership in spring 2023 with City Heights Community Development Corporation to provide county residents with intensive case management and eviction prevention services, to keep residents at risk of eviction in their homes, increase access and use of available resources, and reduce the risk of experiencing homelessness. Within the first two months of this new program, 44 clients began receiving services.

In 2023, SAY San Diego’s Neighborhood Network and Coordinated Eviction Prevention System programs supported 152 clients (108 and 44, respectively), to access resources that promote housing stability and improved well-being.

Key Partners/Funders:

San Diego Wellness Collaborative, partnering with CalAIM
City Heights Community Development Corporation, via County of San Diego, Office of Homeless Solutions

“I was absolutely on the verge of being homeless…[and] I couldn’t have gotten this place without that help. When you don’t have housing, everything turns into a cascade effect. You can’t manage everything and stay healthy.”
– Annie, Program Participant

Success Story

Annie became sick in 2020, and often the illness was so severe she would be sent to the emergency room. Annie was admitted to the hospital 26 times just that year, resulting in job loss and enormous healthcare costs while her doctors struggled to diagnose her illness. To exacerbate Annie’s poor health, she experienced housing instability, leading her to couch surf and live in a dilapidated motel. When Annie was linked to SAY San Diego, she was supported to access medical coverage and secure a rental deposit, one of the non-traditional health benefits now available through expanded Medi-Cal, under CalAIM. With SAY San Diego’s help, Annie found an apartment that she could afford and began to experience improved health.

Facilitating Community-Led Leadership

SAY San Diego facilitated the City Heights Clean & Safe Coalition, which improved Mid-City neighborhoods by recruiting and training community advocates and working together to convene meetings and events. The coalition comprised adult residents who were trained as credible messengers and Promotoras (a Spanish-language term for community health workers). In 2023, there were 19 Promotoras as part of the coalition, as well as 14 youth leaders, who volunteered for a combined 913 hours. The coalition met monthly for community members to build and strengthen relationships. The coalition efforts also included community outreach, cleanups, training residents in advocacy skills, and discussing crime and safety concerns directly with law enforcement, city and business association representatives, and other neighbors.

In 2023, the City Heights Clean & Safe Coalition received a “Community Partner of the Year” award from the San Diego City Council President and District 9 Representative, Sean Elo-Rivera, for continued excellence in community service.

Key Partners/Funders:

Price Philanthropies Foundation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The City Heights Clean & Safe Coalition was named a “2023 Community Partner of the Year” by the City of San Diego.

“SAY SD and the City Heights Clean & Safe Coalition have been an invaluable community partner to District 9. Their continued partnership makes our community stronger and helps us improve the lives of our residents.”
– Sean Elo-Rivera, San Diego City Council President and District 9 Representative

Providing Healthy Food for Lincoln Students

In 2023, SAY San Diego started a partnership with the San Diego Food Bank to establish on-the-go pantry hubs across the Lincoln High School campus. The pantry has been a critically important resource in a school where approximately 85% of students qualified for free or reduced-cost lunch, an indicator often related to poverty and food insecurity. In multiple campus locations, students were provided convenient access to free, healthy snacks, with the option to take some home. Many teachers stated they were thankful for the snacks, as students were often hungry throughout the day, and having food available helped keep them full and more focused for in-class learning. Soon after implementation, most students picked up a snack each day, indicating the substantial utilization and importance of this resource.

The Lincoln High School On-the-Go Food Pantry garnered a highly positive response, with an estimated 2,800 students who benefited from healthy, free snacks.

Key Partners/Funders:

San Diego Food Bank
San Diego Unified School District

Launching Peer Mentoring for Dads

SAY San Diego’s San Diego Dads Corps (SDDC) program, which supports fathers and other caregivers as parents, partners, and providers, expanded in 2023 by launching the Dads Corps Alumni program. The Alumni program recruited over 40 SDDC graduates in the first two months of operation and provided them with continued support and engagement. Alumni also contributed to the growth of SDDC through peer mentoring, recruitment, co-facilitating parent education groups, and hosting events to strengthen relationships. The alumni shared their perspectives and experiences in overcoming or addressing challenges with newer SDDC participants, inspired greater engagement and furthered positive protective factors for everyone involved.

In a survey of recent SDDC graduates, 91% reported having access to the tools needed to nurture their relationship with their child(ren); and 81% felt that, when faced with a challenge, they have a network of peers/alumni dads that are there to help.

Key Partners/Funders:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
California Department of Social Services, Office of Child Abuse Prevention

“I like being able to share with other fathers who are trying to be better dads and how they handle and deal with situations. I like knowing that I can’t do this alone and it's okay to reach out for help when I encounter a tough time.”
– Juan*, Dads Corps Participant


Funders & Donors

Thank you to all our partners.

$1 Million or More

County of San Diego

  • Behavioral Health Services, Health and Human Services Agency
  • Child and Family Well-Being, Health and Human Services Agency
  • Office of Education
  • Probation Department
  • Public Safety Group 

San Diego Unified School District

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • Administration for Children and Families
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

$250,000 – $999,999

The Center at Sierra Health Foundation

Price Philanthropies Foundation

State of California

  • Office of Child Abuse Prevention, Department of Social Services
  • Office of Health Equity, Department of Public Health
  • Tobacco Control Branch, Department of Public Health

$100,000 – $249,999

City of San Diego, Office of Child and Youth Success

Dr. Seuss Foundation at San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

$35,000 – $99,999

Guy Clum Foundation at San Diego Foundation

K. Andrew Achterkirchen

Kaiser Permanente

Kia America

Prevent Child Abuse California, California Family Resource Association

Walter J. and Betty C. Zable Foundation

$10,000 – $34,999

Alliance Healthcare Foundation

BIPOC Support Foundation

Bristol Myers Squibb

Defense Orientation Conference Association

The Hervey Family Fund at San Diego Foundation

The Patriots Connection Fund at Rancho Santa Fe Foundation

PwC Charitable Foundation

Rice Family Foundation

Western Alliance Bank

$1,000 – $9,999

3DT Holdings, LLC
Aetna Foundation 
Aldrich CPAs and Advisors LLP
Allen Maxwell
Alliant Educational Foundation 
Andrew Puricelli 
Anonymous Donor-Advised Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation, San Diego
Anonymous via PayPal Giving Fund
Ashley Rabun
Beverly Drover
Boys and Girls Foundation
California Coast Credit Union
Callan Capital, LLC
City Heights Business Association
The Country Friends 
Dave Kern
David C. Copley Foundation
Directing Change
Don Curristan
Eric & Susan Ehrenfeld
Gavin Ballinger
Intel Foundation
James Carter
Jamie Valli
Jane Drover & Thomas Gibson 
Jeremy Simmons 
Joan Margolius
Joanna Kaye
Kate Broderick
Kevin O’Neill
The Lauer Fund at San Diego Foundation
Manpower San Diego
Maravai LifeSciences Foundation
Marsh & McLennan Agency
The McCulloch Family 
Nancy & Steve Hornberger
Naval Officers’ Spouses’ Club of San Diego
Northrup Grumman
Pam Broadway
Rosario Iannacone
San Diego Chinese Women’s Association
San Diego County Employees’ Charitable Organization
San Diego Gas & Electric
San Diego Workforce Partnership
Sara Hyzer
Sharp Health Plan 
Sibus Law Group, APC 
Trisha Monteleon
Turk Family Philanthropic Fund
WD-40 Company

Major Funded Collaborative Partnerships

City Heights Community Development Corporation
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
San Diego Harm Reduction Coalition
San Diego Wellness Collaborative
University of California, San Diego - Critical Refugee Studies Collective 
Vista Community Clinic

Above is a partial list of contributors who supported SAY San Diego last year. It includes all who provided gifts, grants, contracts and funded partnerships of $1,000 or more between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.

Board of Directors

Melanie Delgado, President
Children’s Advocacy Institute

Theresa Carter, 1st Vice President
Community Member

Sara Hyzer, 2nd Vice President
WD-40 Company

Anila Dhokia, Treasurer
Illumina, Inc.

Dhalia Balmir, Secretary
Balmir Inclusive

Omar Baza, Board Member
Foundation for California Community Colleges

David Kern, Board Member
Community Member

Tibyasa Matovu, Board Member
Cetera Financial Group

Allen Maxwell, Board Member

Trisha Monteleon, Board Member
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Barbara Ryan, Board Member
Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego (retired)

Janie Wardlow, Board Member
San Diego Unified School District, Elementary School Principal (retired)

Nancy Gannon Hornberger, President & CEO
SAY San Diego

Ways to Support SAY San Diego


  • Talk to your company’s CSR representative about aligning SAY San Diego with your professional community for service projects and giving.
  • Generous corporate partners support SAY San Diego with grants, fundraising events, in-kind donation drives, and volunteering to share their time and talents.


  • Every contribution enables SAY San Diego to positively impact the community through direct services, prevention, advocacy, and outreach.
  • There are many ways to give, including grants, corporate and individual giving, employer match programs, and legacy gifts.
  • Donate Now!

Raise Awareness & Advocate

  • Spread the word about SAY San Diego’s programs and impact.
  • Join SAY San Diego on its mission to collaborate with local communities.
  • Follow and share SAY San Diego on social media.

“I am honored to be part of an organization that truly makes a difference in our community. SAY San Diego's unwavering commitment to empowering individuals and families through comprehensive support services is both inspiring and impactful. Being a supporter of SAY San Diego allows me to contribute to the positive transformation of lives, ensuring that every person has access to the resources they need to thrive. Together, we can create a brighter future for San Diego, one filled with hope, resilience, and opportunity for all.”

- Trisha Monteleon, Partner, PwC, and a SAY San Diego Board Member

*name changed to protect privacy

For more information, please email: