SIG improves lives every single day. Here are some of our success stories:
Jamar attends San Jose State University. He is the first young man from the SIG program to receive a scholarship to a four-year University. Jamar has been in the program for four years. He is currently a red shirt Freshmen at San Jose State University.
Lavar has been in the SIG program since he was in the 8th grade. He is a very humble young man that comes from the violent Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. He attends Sacred Heart Cathedral High School and is a standout football player who constantly receives awards for his great citizenship. Lavar’s dream is to attend the University of Oregon.
Rodney is a Senior at Jefferson High School in Daly City who loves to write and recite poetry. Rodney is also an excellent basketball player, president of the Black Student Union at Jefferson, and is a standout student with a 3.5 GPA.
Niamey is a freshman at City College of San Francisco. In 2016 and 2017 Niamey was voted the Player of the Year in San Francisco in both football and basketball. Niamey loves math and wants to attend the University of Kansas to major in architecture.
Louie & Max are brothers who attend Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco. They are both in the SIG mentoring program and each has a 4.0 GPA. Max is also a very good basketball player. Despite living in a rough neighborhood and living a great distance from Riordan, both have more than managed to stay focused on their school work.
Akeal is a freshmen at College of San Mateo who is a determined student and excellent athlete. He has been participating in the SIG mentoring program for four years. Akeal is dedicated to his community and often performs community service. His primary focus is to attend college and major in business.
Desean attends Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco. Despite being raised by a single mom and living in an underserved community surrounded by crime and violence, he has remained motivated to perform well in school and has avoided the negative influences of his neighborhood. Desean is a mature young man who knows that education is the key to his future.
Emmitt is Junior at Sacred Heart Cathedral high school in San Francisco where he maintains a 3.5 GPA. Emmitt lives in the Bayview Hunters Point Neighborhood. Although his neighborhood is violent and submerged in crime, he does very well academically and socially.
Julani is a Sophomore at Archbishop Riordan high school in San Francisco. He is an outstanding student with incredible basketball talent. Consequently, Julani is already being heavily recruited to play college basketball.
Anthony attends Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco. He is both a standout student and an excellent football player. Anthony’s goal is to achieve a scholarship to the University of Southern California to play football.
Josh attends Archbishop Riordan high school in San Francisco and is a great student and athlete. He is being raised by two loving parents who are very involved with the church in their community. Josh volunteers at many church functions.
Marquis is an eighth grader at Willie Brown middle school in San Francisco who is a promising student and athlete with a humble attitude. He lives in one of San Francisco’s roughest neighborhoods, Visitation Valley. Marquis wants to go to college and be successful so that he can come back to his neighborhood and help bring about positive change.
Kareem, who was one of the original members of SIG’s mentoring program, is an SIG alumni who still seeks advice from SIG Executive Director Malik Wade. In 2014 he qualified for the California State High School Track & Field Finals in the 110 meter hurdles. After graduating high school, Kareem attended American River College in Sacramento. Wanting to contribute to the community, he recently applied to and was accepted into the Oakland Police Academy.
The centerpiece of the various programs offered by SIG is our Individual Mentoring Program. This program is directly administered by SIG Executive Director, Malik Wade. Working during the school year with 12 – 15 young men, ranging in age from 12 – 18, Mr. Wade acts as counselor, coach, trainer, big brother and/or father figure to these young men, many of whom are being raised by a single, working mom; all who live in a neighborhood rife with violent criminal activity.
Mr. Wade meets with each of these young men at least once a week, taking them out for a healthy meal while checking up on their progress at school and making sure things are well at their homes. He will advocate for them with their teachers and coaches when necessary, and occasionally stop by their homes to speak with their parent or guardian.
Once or twice a week, all or a portion of the young men in the program will meet with Mr. Wade at either City College of San Francisco or the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA to be led in physical conditioning workouts. These workouts always include discussions about decision making and other life lessons during the breaks between the various fitness drills being conducted.
The final component of the Individual Mentoring Program is the monthly workshop held at the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA. These are accompanied by brunch served not only to the young men, but also to any of their family members who are also invited to attend. The workshop topics all have to do with personal development and are presented by either Mr. Wade or a guest speaker. A frequent guest speaker has been Dr. Mark Robinson, renowned author, speaker and founder of the Institute of Personal Player Development. In addition to speaking at universities throughout the country, Dr. Robinson has worked with both the NBA and NFL and has been a guest on ESPN’s Outside the Lines program.
One of SIG’s main goals is to impress upon the young men with whom we work the importance of education. This starts with maintaining perfect attendance at their particular school, graduating from high school, and maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA in order to increase their chances of attending a 4 year college.
To further motivate these young men, SIG conducts monthly tours of at least one, and as many as six college campuses. This could be a one day tour with a visit to UC Berkeley in the morning, and Stanford University in the afternoon. Or a 4 day, 3 night trip to Southern California over Christmas or Spring break to visit the likes of Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine, UCLA and USC.
It’s one thing to read about a college, it’s degree offerings, activities, and campus, or to have someone talk to you about them. It’s quite another for these young men to actually visit that college; see the campus for themselves; take a tour of the dorms, lecture halls, and classrooms; watch a game at an on campus arena; mingle with young people of various backgrounds at the student center.
SIG budgets $30,000 a year for this important program ($2,500 a month). Donate now to insure the continuance of this incredibly important program.
The young men with whom SIG works come from working poor homes that can not always provide 3 healthy meals a day or the personal hygiene products that most of us take for granted: bar soap, shampoo, deodorant, dental floss, toothpaste, etc.
SIG’s Health & Wellness program helps provide these by frequently taking the young men out for meals as well as from time to time delivering affordable food obtained from the SF-MARIN Food Bank to their homes. SIG also provides the young men with a monthly supply of hygiene products, not only to address their physical needs, but to assist in providing the personal confidence that comes with feeling free and clean.
You can help support this program with your one time generous donation of any amount. Or you can support one young man with your continuing monthly contribution of $25.
In addition to working with the young men that participate in the other SIG programs, SIG, specifically Mr. Wade, can be found attending various community and local school events. His presence increases SIG’s visibility and credibility as well as keeping him in touch with the issues facing San Francisco’s impoverished communities. While we normally associate San Francisco with affluence and wealth, the sad truth is that there are neighborhoods where poverty and violent criminal activity persist, whose plight remains neglected by the larger surrounding community.
In addition to attending events and meetings, Mr. Wade has been a frequent speaker at SF Juvenile Hall where he has shared his personal story in an effort to encourage youngsters to turn their lives around as he has. More recently, Mr. Wade has been speaking on a weekly basis to the young people living at Log Cabin Ranch School, a facility located in La Honda California that is operated by the San Francisco Juvenile Parole Department. In speaking engagements at SF State, UC Berkeley, and Stanford, Mr. Wade has gained exposure for SIG in addressing issues regarding prison conditions, difficulties faced by incarcerated individuals attempted to assimilate back into society, and the tremendous need for prison reform.
Finally, in support of SIG’s goal to instill in the young men with whom we work the importance of community service, Mr. Wade has them participate in a monthly community service project. This could be as simple as conducting a trash pickup day, rewarding as volunteering at a soup kitchen, or as eye opening as spending an hour or two on the street with homeless individuals.
SIG is looking for volunteers to be an integral part of our program. Volunteering with SIG means leading by example and giving back to the community’s youth. In particular, we are currently looking for volunteers to help expand SIG’s social media capabilities and to chaperone students on monthly Community Clean-Ups of neighborhood parks and streets.
Direct impact on your community: every day you spend working with us impacts the lives around you and shapes our participants’ future
Direct exposure to and valuable experience in the non-profit world, reporting directly to SIG’s Executive Director
Real responsibilities from day 1: you will play a critical role in the organization and have your own projects
Experience with non-profit volunteering is appreciated, but first-time volunteers are welcome
Demonstrated passion for youth development and a can-do attitude are key
Minimum commitment of 10 hours per month