About Lauryn Semere

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So far Lauryn Semere has created 24 blog entries.

Thank You, David C. Copley Family Foundation!

Boys to Men Mentoring was recently awarded a benevolent grant from The David C. Copley Family Foundation, and we are so incredibly grateful! The Copley Family Foundation provides funding for responsible, creative charitable and civic organizations focusing on community, culture and arts, education, medical and health, and youth development, which continue the Copley family legacy of supporting life enriching organizations and foster community and civic improvement. With the generous grant we received from The David C. Copley Family Foundation, we will be able to expand the Boys to Men program in the coming school year and help more fatherless teenage boys in San Diego make better choices. Thank you for your incredible support, Copley Family Foundation!

By | May 5th, 2016|Success Stories|0 Comments

IT’S BAAAAAACK! The 7th Annual 100 Wave Challenge!

What is the surfing equivalent of running a marathon? Surfing one hundred waves in a single day, of course! On Saturday, September 17th, 2016, we will be holding our nationally-recognized fundraiser, the Boys to Men 100 Wave Challenge, for the seventh year at Mission Beach in San Diego! With our biggest participant goal (300+ surfers!) and most ambitious fundraising goal ($500,000!) EVER, this year's event will be a challenge in every sense of the word for all of us! The 100 Wave Challenge event registration will be open Saturday, May 14th at The Boardroom Show in Del Mar and at www.100Wave.org. The simple and free registration will remain open with personal goals for each surfer to raise a minimum of $1000 for Boys to Men and catch 100 waves on the big day of Saturday, September 17th.     We will have many impressive 100 Wave Challenge sponsors supporting our big event again this year, including our returning Title Sponsor Dr. Bronner's ALL-ONE, and we appreciate the support so very much! So, get registered, surfers, and let's make this the most epic 100 Wave Challenge yet!   See YOU at Early Bird Registration! Saturday & Sunday May 14 & 15 at The BoardRoom Show!

By | May 5th, 2016|100 Wave Challenge|0 Comments

Lost His Arm, But Not His Spirit

Urgently, Boys to Men and friends are asking your help for Attila Tota, a man who has lived a life of service and has suffered an unimaginable loss. Attila is the lead mentor and founder of our North County Boys to Men group and surfed the 100 Wave Challenge four years in a row with his friends, fellow mentors and boys from Boys to Men Mentoring. After a three-year struggle with cancer and enduring excruciating treatments, Attila, one of our own, had to have his right (dominant) arm amputated in order to save his life in an emergency procedure last Thanksgiving Eve. Two operations later, surgeons have now left the wound open because they can't get acceptable margins. Most recently, surgeons have expressed wanting to take the entire upper quarter of Attila's body -- shoulder, clavical and scapula in hopes of getting ahead of the cancerous tumor spread. Today he struggles with the pain and fatigue of an open stump where his arm once was until doctors agree that the cancer has died enough to skin graft the open wound, which will still take a few months at best. Attila has already endured radiation treatments and does not qualify for chemotherapy. He is, however, qualified for an experimental immunotherapy protocol (that insurance rejected), of which most of the cost will be covered by Merck. The possible side effects are endless, but the promise of a cure is well worth the risk. At this time Attila is unable to work, yet still manages to help run the Boys to Men North County meetings. What Attila and his wife Lisa need at this time is simple but essential: - Help paying for the overwhelming medical costs including huge insurance deductibles - Financial help in order to rebuild their business so that it can fully [...]

By | May 5th, 2016|100 Wave Challenge, Mentor|0 Comments

Monarch School Mentoring Homeless Boys

This month’s BTM Spotlight School is Monarch School in Barrio Logan, near downtown San Diego. Serving homeless students grades K-12, Monarch is a public school operated under the San Diego County Office of Education’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools educational program. Serving up to 350 homeless students each day, Monarch students live in San Diego shelters, motels, single-room occupancy housing, double- or tripled-up with other families at camp sites, in cars or on the streets. And like other students in the San Diego school system, Monarch’s middle school and high school-aged teenage boys have a NEED for the wisdom, friendship and support of our group facilitators and mentors.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015) We are currently holding two BTM groups weekly on Fridays at Monarch School, divided by age and grade (serving 7th and 8th grade boys) with 4 paid staff facilitators. One 8th grade Monarch boy, Billy, said, “Boys to Men gives me a way to deal with my problems. You guys help me through BIG things and small things in my life.” In addition to being homeless, these boys (for the most part) have no positive male role models in their lives and have to endure daily hardships most American teens could never imagine. Boys to Men’s Program Director Anthony Hutchings said, “While these groups are sometimes much more emotionally “heavy” than other in-school groups, myself and our trained staff consider Monarch some of our most meaningful hours of circles every week.” “BTM helps me control how I act and now I don’t get into trouble as much,” explained Antonio, another student from Monarch who attends weekly groups with Boys to Men. “I get help, I learn from your wisdom and I [...]

By | May 5th, 2016|Boys Testimonials, School Staff|0 Comments

Spotlight School: Montgomery Middle School

Each month, Boys to Men is now holding 130 groups in San Diego. This month's Spotlight School is Montgomery Middle School in the Cajon Valley School District. We are currently holding two BTM groups weekly at Montgomery Middle, divided by age and grade (serving 7th and 8th grade boys) with 7 mentors -- 3 staff and 4 volunteers. One student at Montgomery, Jacob, said, “If I have a problem, I can talk about it here,” and another boy, Sam, explained to his BTM mentors, “I can trust you.” From sharing their own life experiences in topics ranging from bullying to drugs and girl problems to gang pressure and drug temptations, our mentors and group facilitators listen without judgment and offer unconditional support to the boys in their circles. Rachel Legrand, Counselor at Montgomery Middle School, explained how our program has helped the fatherless and high-risk boys in her school, “I'm grateful for the opportunities that Boys to Men provides for my students. The group offers them positive role models, a safe and encouraging atmosphere, and caring mentors guiding them into adulthood.” Ms. Legrand continued, “The support that the mentors show my students and our school is overwhelming. Boys to Men is a powerful organization and I hope that each school can experience all that it offers!” As Antonio, a 7th grader at Montgomery Middle School said, “Boys to Men is helping me achieve my goals, and I finally feel good about myself!” For us, that is what it's all about.

By | February 29th, 2016|boys, program, Success Stories|0 Comments

Sponsor Shout-Out: Thank You, Dr. Bronner’s!

In addition to private donations and grants, Boys to Men Mentoring is incredibly grateful for the support of corporate sponsors, and one of the companies that has given generously year after year to BTM is Dr. Bronner's All-One. An international company based in Vista, California (north of San Diego), Dr. B's believes in ethical sourcing and fair trade as well as providing aid to non-profits with missions in line with their own, as Boys to Men has. Dr. Bronner's makes the highest-quality organic, non-GMO and eco-friendly products from soaps and lotions to lip balms and toothpaste. Their company has a vision that parallels that of Boys to Men in regards to helping others, being the change we want to see in the world and making a difference one person at a time. Since 2011, Dr. Bronner's has been an enthusiastic sponsor for our annual fundraiser, The 100 Wave Challenge, serving as both our Title Sponsor and having the biggest corporate team for the event each year. With their always-unique and passionate Dr. Bronner's flair, the family of employees from Dr. B's has become part of the Boys to Men family as well, and we are looking forward to many more years of making a difference with our friends from Dr. Bronner's in our corner!

By | February 29th, 2016|Community Partners|0 Comments

Surfers Attempted to Ride a Wave Into History: The ONE Wave Challenge

Sometimes, we at Boys to Men Mentoring get a wild hair and decide to take on challenges that seem impossible. Our only annual fundraiser, for example, The 100 Wave Challenge, is basically a surfing marathon. On Saturday, January 23rd, 2016, about 150 San Diego surfers rode 18 waves in unison for nearly two hours in an attempt to override the current World Record for most surfers on one wave (which was 110, set in Cape Town, South Africa). Our esteemed judge was Eric “Bird” Huffman, owner of the legendary Bird's Surf Shed, and with his crew of counters, pointers, spotters, videographers and photographers, this was a day for the history books, despite missing the World Record by a few surfers. This first-of-its-kind event was hosted by The Century Club with all proceeds going to Boys to Men Mentoring and had the honor of many reputable vendors volunteering their time and donating their products for our surfers and volunteers. Sponsors included Los Primos, Souplantation, Coca Cola, Dr. Bronner's, Pacific Records, Swell Coffee Company, 91x, Chick-Fil-A, Troutman-Sanders, and we appreciate the support so very much! Our best party wave of the One Wave Challenge had 97 surfers standing up for five seconds or longer. Despite Mother Nature's refusal to play nicely, we had an unbelievable group of experienced surfers in the lineup! Because we narrowly missed breaking the World Record, we will be back out there next year – and this time we WILL break the record! Get a feel for the day of the event. (One Wave Challenge video by TJ Sinsay) Also, check out this incredible drone footage! (Video by RedWeb Studios) Big thanks to The Century Club of San Diego and all of our [...]

By | February 29th, 2016|School Staff|0 Comments

Journeyman Spotlight: Ryan

Often, a teenage boy finds Boys to Men Mentoring when he needs us most. This was the case in the life of Journeyman Ryan, who came to his first BTM group at the age of 13 and is almost 17-years old now. Ryan's father passed away when he was just three-years old and, despite having a strong bond with his older sister and mother, Ryan was lacking a positive male role model in his life. Our Program Director, Anthony Hutchings, remembers the first time Ryan walked into a group and how clearly Ryan needed the support and encouragement of good men in his young life. Anthony suggested Ryan join the Adventure Mountain Weekend that was just one week away, and after nearly three and a half hours of being interviewed and interrogated by Ryan's skeptical mom, Genevieve, to ensure her son's safety under Boys to Men's watch, Anthony received the green light to take Ryan for his rite of passage into becoming a man with about forty other boys, mentors and group facilitators. Ryan recalls that weekend well and explained, “That was when I realized my Boys to Men family will be there for me, no matter what.” As a junior at Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley, Ryan still attends every Tuesday night community meeting and participates in activities BTM offers outside of groups, like a recent deep-sea fishing trip and evening surf sessions in the summertime. Ryan's mother and sister have also become part of the Boys to Men family, and the BTM Program Director, Anthony, has taken it upon himself to check in with them frequently to ensure we continue to fill the gap of the missing male entity in Ryan's life. [...]

By | February 29th, 2016|School Staff|1 Comment

Dr. Bronner’s Supports 100 Wave Challenge on Sept. 19

VISTA, Calif., Sept. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Bronner's, family-owned maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America, is proud to support the 100 Wave Challenge on Sept. 19 to raise funds and awareness for the important work of the Boys to Men Mentoring Network, a San Diego-based nonprofit that engages men to improve the lives of boys at risk. On Saturday, Sept. 19, hundreds of surfers will hit the water at Mission Beach to support Boys to Men (BTM) and help boys become good men. Pro-surfers such as Shaun Tomson and Damien Hobgood are also supporting the event. The goal is for each surfer to raise $1,000 for BTM and attempt to catch 100 waves in 12 hours. So far Dr. Bronner's, which will have a team for this year's surf-a-thon, has raised over $25,000 for this great cause. "Dr. Bronner's is proud to support this amazing community initiative," says David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner's. "Not only is surfing for a good cause a ton of fun, but because of the success of the 100 Wave Challenge, Boys to Men has tripled in size in the last two years and 600 at-risk boys around San Diego now have good, positive role models in their lives," continued Bronner. Launched in 1996, BTM helps to keep young men out of the criminal justice system and to improve their access to higher education. It also provides boys a place where they can hear other boys and men tell the truth about the problems they face and a community where boys know they are not alone. BTM has mentored over 6,000 boys and has trained mentors in 24 states. "These boys come in to Boys to Men with a lot of [...]

By | September 15th, 2015|School Staff|1 Comment

Small Token of Thanks

January was Mentor Appreciation Month and at Boys to Men Mentoring we took this opportunity to thank the backbone of our organization for their work. Between volunteer group mentors and staff facilitators, we have more than sixty men who give their time, offer their wisdom and provide stability and accountability in the lives of boys who otherwise may not benefit from any of those qualities from men in their lives. As a small token of thanks, we asked some of the fatherless and at-risk teenage boys in the Boys to Men program to write a short note to a mentor explaining the impact the mentors have had on their lives. The cards we collected were absolutely priceless – from heartfelt expressions of gratitude for the life-changing guidance to simple notes saying they appreciate the support of our mentors. In honor of Mentor Appreciation Month, each of our mentors was mailed one of these hand-written notes from a boy in our program and a personal letter of appreciation from our Mentor Coordinator, John Fojtik. We at Boys to Men would be nothing without the mentors who so selflessly give of themselves to keep this program running. Thank you, dear friends, from the bottom of our hearts! Together, we are changing lives!

By | April 30th, 2015|School Staff|0 Comments