Early Childhood Center a Model for Regional Business

A lack of affordable, high-quality early childhood care throughout San Diego County is an enormous obstacle that adversely affects children’s readiness for kindergarten and school, and creates barriers to employment and upward mobility for new parents.

Thousands of parents are forced to make an impossible choice between paying more than they can afford; settling for cheaper, lower-quality care; or leaving the workforce altogether.

That’s why a childcare facility at SAY San Diego is such a significant milestone for the region. Thanks to a grant from The San Diego Foundation, SAY San Diego’s workplace-based Early Childhood Center now offers accessible, affordable and high-quality childcare to its employees and community parents.

Click here to read the full article from The San Diego Foundation

A Snapshot of Our Impact

SAY San Diego creates positive change in the lives of youth, adults, and families by engaging the community and partnering with schools, law enforcement, local government, community leaders, the military, businesses, and individuals. SAY San Diego meets diverse needs at more than 40 schools and six community resource centers. Our dedicated staff provide critical support in areas such as youth development, family strengthening, child abuse prevention, foster family support, substance abuse prevention, mental health counseling, and juvenile delinquency prevention.

Click here to view our brand new agency video, which provides a snapshot of our impact in the community.


Early Childhood Center Ribbon Cutting

SAY San Diego’s showcase workplace-based Early Childhood Center is officially open! We are grateful to everyone who attended our ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, November 15. Special thank you to County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, City Councilmember Chris Cate, City Councilmember Chris Ward, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Director, Nick Macchione, and President & CEO of The San Diego Foundation, Mark Stuart, for your support, vision and partnership.

Click here for KUSI news coverage
Click here for CBS8 news coverage


November is Military Family Appreciation Month

Imagine leaving behind a successful career and a loving family to move 7,000 miles away. The language is new, the culture is vastly different, and the only person you know is your spouse. For Maureen, a military wife born and raised in the Philippines, this is her reality.

For many military spouses, feelings of loneliness and isolation are common, but as someone brand new to the United States, Maureen had to overcome additional challenges. “At home in the Philippines, I was very independent. I provided for my family and looked out for everyone else. Here in the United States, I’ve had to learn to accept help from others.” A critical source of help and support is SAY San Diego’s Healthy Start Military Family Resource Center (MFRC) and First 5 First Steps program.

Maureen learned about SAY’s programs through the Balboa Naval Medical Center when she was pregnant with her daughter, Amelia. She was connected to her case manager Debbie, who became an immediate source of support and guidance. “For the first two years, Debbie visited me at my home every week. She was my only confidant. She checked on Amelia’s development, provided me with resources, and helped me to get to know the area and what was available to me.”

These days you can find Maureen at the MFRC every week. She brings Amelia to playgroup so she can interact with other children, and Maureen participates in yoga classes taught at the center by volunteers. For Maureen, the MFRC is a safe space where she is supported by SAY staff and a community of military wives who she can lean on.

Appreciation for our military extends beyond those in uniform. Military spouses also make sacrifices in service to our country, often parenting children solo and managing frequent moves that keep them far from familiar support networks.

SAY San Diego is proud to support military families through a variety of services and a place to connect with others. The MFRC serves active duty, transitioning, and veteran military personnel and the families. Located in Murphy Canyon, which has one of the largest collections of off-base US military population in the world, the MFRC strengthens families and communities by offering connections to resources such as food, housing, counseling, financial assistance, parenting classes, support groups, and more.

The Rice Family Foundation Supports Two SAY Projects

SAY San Diego is thrilled to announce that The Rice Family Foundation recently awarded a grant to SAY San Diego for two exciting projects – Girls Circle and a Middle School Youth Sports League!

To address the needs of vulnerable students, SAY will launch Girls Circle, an evidence-based program that employs a strengths-based approach rooted in relational-cultural and resiliency theory. The Girls Circle curriculum is comprised of thirteen guides including topics such as friendships, relationships, setting boundaries, coping skills, effects of drug use, reaching goals and self-care. Girls Circle will take place at SAY’s Serra Real Connections (SRC), a thriving family resource center on the Serra High School campus in San Diego that collaborates with community stakeholders to serve over 1,000 youth and their families annually through mentoring, academic support, youth leadership and development programs, workshops, and parent education and engagement. Girls Circle groups will be facilitated by highly qualified female Healthy Start program staff and co-facilitated by social work interns from partnering universities.

In order to provide youth enrolled in our Prime Time after school care with the chance to experience teamwork and fun during the critical “tween” years, SAY San Diego will launch a Middle School Youth Sports League for 150+ students so they can play their peers in team sports such as flag football, soccer, basketball, and more. The majority of youth enrolled are with us from 2:00 – 6:00pm each school day, or 20+ hours per week, while their parents work. We want their significant time with us to be fun and impactful. Unfortunately, intramural sports leagues are simply not an option for most children of low-income, working class, and single-parent families due to the financial- and time-demands that come with securing uniforms, taking off work to drive the youth to games, providing snacks for the team, and so on. Now our youth don’t have to miss out on the transformative experience of joining a formal team!

The Patriots Connection Supports the San Diego Military Family Collaborative

The Patriots Connection, a program of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, recently awarded a grant to SAY San Diego to support the San Diego Military Family Collaborative (SDMFC)!

The SDMFC is a countywide network of 200 service providers dedicated to improving social, economic, and health outcomes for families experiencing unique challenges of military life and transition to civilian life. Since 2010, SAY has convened SDMFC and used data to identify service gaps, map regional resources, and mobilize action teams to address unique military family needs. SDMFC provides a unified platform to share information, educate and train partners, and knit San Diego’s military community together through outreach and informative monthly convenings.

The SDMFC brings attention to serious issues experienced by military families in order to develop solutions and make a positive impact in San Diego. For example, SDMFC launched the “Community Prevention and Safety Alliance” to specifically reach youth and teens from military families struggling with problems such as substance abuse and behavioral challenges at school. Additionally, SDMFC completed an academic study to asset map the military and veteran service organizations across San Diego County. In partnership with the University of San Diego (USD) and the San Diego Veterans Coalition, the SDMFC orchestrated “Community Conversations” to convene service providers and military families in order to inform the report published by USD, “Pathways and Intersections in the Military Lifecycle: How San Diego Supports the Military and Veteran Connected Community.” For the project, 109 agencies and 162 unique individuals informed a map of services and identified gaps in services for military families. The study is here: http://sdmilitaryfamily.org/sdrvfws-report/

PwC Invests in Creating Brighter Futures for Middle School Youth!

A grant from the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. to SAY San Diego will allow us to equip middle school students with the STEAM education they need to succeed. We are excited to use PwC’s Access Your Potential ™ (AYP) technology curriculum, and engage PwC US volunteers, to reach 450 middle school youth in our after school programs at Bethune, Darnall Charter, Farb Middle, Innovation Middle, Lewis Middle and Standley Middle schools! Additionally, we will hold two community events in the Central and Southeastern regions of San Diego to inspire young people to pursue STEAM careers. The events will include interactive STEAM activities and will feature San Diego tech leaders, and CODE-E, PwC’s AYP robot. We are so grateful to the PwC Charitable Foundation for this opportunity!

About The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.
The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., is a section 501(c)(3) organization that makes contributions to the people of PwC in times of financial hardship, and to nonprofit organizations that support and promote education and humanitarianism.

Media Advisory: SAY San Diego Early Childhood Center

Media Advisory for Friday, November 15, 2019

SAY San Diego Early Childhood Center in Kearny Mesa Opens


A lack of affordable, high quality early childhood care throughout San Diego area is an enormous obstacle that adversely affects children’s readiness for Kindgergarten and school, and creates barriers to employment and career development for new parents.  In partnership with the Guy C. Clum Fund at The San Diego Foundation, SAY San Diego is opening its first workplace childcare program for infants 6 weeks to 24 months and preschoolers 2 to 5 years old.  The SAY San Diego Early Childhood Center offers accessible, affordable and high-quality child care to its employees and community parents in a nature-themed setting.  With a $500,000 grant from the Guy C. Clum Fund at The San Diego Foundation, SAY San Diego was able to pursue its vision of creating greater equity and opportunity for young families. SAY’s center offers flex fees based on household income and an innovative model and consulting team to assist local employers to develop child-care centers at their own workplaces.

For nearly 50 years, Social Advocates for Youth (SAY) San Diego has been committed to opportunity, equity, and well-being for all San Diegans, and currently strengthens children, families, and communities through more than 30 programs. www.saysandiego.org


Nancy Gannon Hornberger, President & CEO, SAY San Diego
LaDreda Lewis, Board President, SAY San Diego
Mark Stuart, President & CEO, The San Diego Foundation
Nathan Fletcher, County of San Diego Supervisor, District 4
Chris Ward, City of San Diego Councilmember, District 3
Chris Cate, City of San Diego Councilmember, District 6
Nick Macchione, Agency Director, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency
Bob Cote, Business Relations Director, Better Business Bureau – Pacific Southwest


November 15, 2019


10:00am – Refreshments and Tours
10:15am – Welcome Remarks from San Diego Leaders
10:30am – Ribbon Cutting and Photos
10:45am – Center open for photos/videos


SAY San Diego Early Childhood Center, 4775 Viewridge Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123


Infant care center (infants may be on site and likely sleeping)
Access to preschool classroom and playground (preschoolers engaged in activities)
Staff tours & parent interviews
*Pre-event tours and interviews available on request


High Resolution Photos available on request


Suzie Colby at or 760.237.8118

ELEVATED Youth Featured on NBC 7

Students from SAY San Diego’s Club ELEVATED at Serra High School worked alongside law enforcement to collect expired and unused medication during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. NBC 7 covered the event.

View News Story

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In the minute it takes you to read this, another 20 people in the U.S. will have been subjected to domestic violence. According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men report having experienced severe violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. At SAY San Diego, we strive to improve health, wellness, and social outcomes for victims of domestic violence by providing counseling and case management that leads to safety planning, refuge, and hopefully an end to the violence.

Additionally, through our partnership with the San Diego Family Justice Center (FJC), SAY San Diego supports mothers seeking to escape domestic violence. SAY San Diego’s child development team staffs an onsite Child Watch program at the FJC to provide a safe, positive, and enriching environment for children while their mothers confidentially receive services including legal assistance and help securing shelter.

Reducing domestic violence is not limited to programs and services. By recognizing domestic violence as a life-threatening issue, we can help stop the cycle of abuse. If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE), direct them to the San Diego Family Justice Center, or SAY’s domestic violence resource page.