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Nonprofit Commends Rose Courtney’s Leadership Skill Set, Fresh Perspective as Pivotal to Sustained Organizational Growth, Innovation and Relevance The future of Boys to Men Mentoring Network is in a woman’s hands. Rose Courtney, Director of Operations, took the reins of leadership last month after a unanimous vote by the nonprofit organization’s board of directors. Courtney steps into the role of Executive Director as Boys to Men Co-Founder Craig McClain steps away from the position after serving 23 years as its top executive. McClain’s colorful legacy gives Courtney a solid foundation to build upon. A visionary who leads with his heart, McClain transformed his personal experience as a mentor to kids in his neighborhood into a live-transforming in-school group mentoring program. Inspired by McClain’s vision of building strong communities of boys and men, the nonprofit has expanded its regional footprint from 1 to 38 school campuses over the past decade. As McClain hands the baton of leadership to Courtney, 1,000 disconnected, fatherless boys are participating in 58 weekly group mentoring circles across San Diego County. Craig McClain, Boys to Men Mentoring Co-Founder and former Executive Director McClain will remain active in the organization. He will direct his creative energy on the development of the Boys to Men retreat center, Legacy Ranch, while doing his part to raise the organization’s development and programming to new heights. In her role as Director of Operations, Courtney kept a mindful eye on Boys to Men Mentoring Network’s primary functions, including governance, human resources, programs, communications and development. She also served on the front lines of logistical planning and implementation for the organization’s three signature fundraisers: the 100 Wave Challenge, Caddyhack and the 1 Wave Challenge. Rose Courtney, [...]

By | July 23rd, 2019|Success Stories|2 Comments

Meet Toma.

Toma migrated to the U.S. when he was just seven years old fleeingwar in Baghdad, Iraq with his father, mother, brother and 13 other family members. Toma saw his life in the United States as a new opportunity, but fitting in at school was a challenge, and he was often bullied for his size. A good friend of his introduced him to Boys to Men when he was 15-year-old. Toma recalls, “I was at a very vulnerable age where I was depressed and hurt." "When a good life friend told me about Boys to Men I thought it was just another group, but Boys to Men has given me an opportunity to plan out my life,” Toma added. Now 17, Toma attends El Cajon Valley High School where he has mastered English and studies welding manufacturing. In reference to his future, Toma explains, “I now have a plan to make my dreams of building my own company come true.” Toma says his favorite thing about Boys to Men is “the fact that I can be me and that I can talk to people when I need someone there.” Toma recently got to participate at an Adventure Mountain Weekend retreat as a Journeyman lead. Toma defines a Journeyman as a boy that is on the road to becoming a man. When asked what the best part about his leadership role was, he said, “My favorite part was that I got to learn and cook with people that love and care for me.” Jose Garcia, BTM Youth Coordinator, says Toma has quickly become a leader amongst the older boys. He explained, "Toma expressed his desire to take a leadership position during one of our camping trips and did a great [...]

By | February 1st, 2019|School Staff|2 Comments

Cohn Restaurant Group’s Menus with Meaning Series Continues at Vintana Wine + Dine

The Cohn Restaurant Group's Menus with Meaning series invites San Diegans to open their hearts to the spirit of the holidays while enjoying an elegant, fine-dining experience for the benefit of a special cause: Boys to Men Mentoring Network. The San Diego-based nonprofit is dedicated to helping disconnected, often fatherless boys become good men. During the month of November, Vintana Wine + Dine is offering San Diegans the chance to savor a special three-course menu, showcasing the flavors of Chef Deborah Scott's signature California-inspired cuisine. While taking in Vintana's panoramic views of San Diego's scenic North County, diners can graze on Mini Lobster Mac n' Cheese or Golden Beet and Fennel Salad, followed by a main-course featuring Seared Diver Scallop or Slow-Braised Beef Short Ribs. A creamy Key Lime Tart or Chef Deborah's Special Brownie -- a rich, flavorful confection topped with vanilla ice cream, ganache and walnuts -- tops off the feast. Priced at $39.95 per person, Vintana's Menus with Meaning dinner may be relished with an optional $15.00 wine pairing. Vintana will donate 20 percent of the menu proceeds to Boys to Men Mentoring Network. San Diegans are encouraged to consider Menus with Meaning as the inspiration for their next night out on the town. They'll be treated to inspired contemporary fine dining in Vintana's elegant setting atop the Penthouse Level of the Lexus Center in Escondido. At the same time, they'll feel good about lending their support to an important cause: breaking the cycle of gangs, drugs and violence in the lives of boys who are on the cusp of becoming the good men they want to be. "Good friends and good food are a winning combination," Boys to Men Executive Director Craig McClain explained. "The Cohn Restaurant Group's Menus with Meaning series brings philanthropy to the dinner table. It's a wonderful opportunity for people to savor a meal with family and [...]

By | November 6th, 2018|Community Partners|0 Comments

It’s 100 Wave Challenge Season!

The 100 Wave Challenge (www.100wave.org) is the largest annual fundraiser for BOYS TO MEN MENTORING NETWORK Every year, hundreds of surfers pledge to raise a minimum of $1,000 each and attempt to catch 100 waves in one day to help raise money and awareness for the organization. WHAT DOES YOUR CONTRIBUTION SUPPORT? Boys to Men Mentoring is committed to addressing the devastating effects of fatherlessness on a young man's life. We are creating communities of support, encouragement, and empowerment so that no boy feels like he is alone. We are bringing these disconnected boys back into our community and challenging them to be young men of integrity, honesty, and service. Your contribution directly supports our weekly group mentoring programs that support over 800 boys at 35 school and community partner locations throughout San Diego County. Visit www.100wave.org to register today!

By | June 22nd, 2018|100 Wave Challenge|0 Comments

Big Waves Mean More Work for San Diego Surf Shop

Video Report By 100 Wave Challenge Surf Ambassador Shawn Styles     San Diego beaches have seen some big waves over the past few days - and for one San Diego company that means big business. The reason: many surfers hit the water with boards that can't handle the surf. News 8's Shawn Styles reports from Kearny Mesa at a shop that feeds off the big waves. See the full video here: http://www.cbs8.com/clip/14416802/big-waves-mean-more-work-for-san-diego-surfboard-shop

By | June 19th, 2018|100 Wave Challenge, Community Partners|0 Comments

Legacy Ranch Dedication Ceremony

Legacy Ranch Dedication Marks Historic Milestone for Boys to Men Mentoring Network A vibrant tapestry of spring wildflowers beckoned guests on their journey to the top of Palomar Mountain to celebrate the dedication of Legacy Ranch. Gathered in the shade of a canopy of Oak trees, and captivated by sweeping views of the valley below, guests were given a first-hand encounter with a sacred space that inspires Boys to Men Network’s mission: resolving the devastating effects of fatherlessness in the lives of young men. Since Boys to Men Mentoring Network acquired the property in 1996, the ranch has served as a base camp for the nonprofit organization’s Adventure Mountain Weekends. A $100,000 gift from The Legacy Foundation, paid off the mortgage on the property, ensuring the weekend retreats will continue to engage and empower young men for generations to come. In honor of the foundation’s priceless gift, Boys to Men hosted a celebration designed to immerse guests in the natural beauty of Legacy Ranch, cultivate their appreciation of the ranch as a backdrop for Adventure Mountain Weekend mentoring activities, and impart the organization’s aspirations for upgrading the property –- as well as enhancing the retreat experience for boys and their mentors -- in the months and years to come. After participating in tours of the ranch footprint, guests sat down at festively-decorated picnic tables for a delicious barbecue lunch prepared and served by Boys to Men volunteers. A tribute to the Legacy Foundation capped off the celebration. Boys to Men Co-Founder and Executive Director Craig McClain delivered a moving thank you to the foundation, and invited founder and chairman, Rolf Benirschke and his fellow board member, Ernie Hahn, to lead the unveiling of the Legacy [...]

Board Member Spotlight: Barry Mahlberg

La Mesa, CALIFORNIA -- Every mentor has a story to tell. Our mentors are encouraged to share their deepest joys, fears, and dreams every week in group, and those stories of lessons learned provide the framework that our boys use to map out their own futures. Here’s the story of Barry Mahlberg who is currently a mentor at Greenfield Middle School. Barry was raised in a strict household as a child. “My father was an army officer, and I often felt like nothing I did was ever good enough,” Barry recalls. “The accountability was definitely there but the encouragement and affection were sometimes lacking. “Through my experience as a kid, raising 2 of my own and mentoring countless children and young adults in sports and business, I realized how much I had a heart for kids.” In 2005, Barry became a court appointed special advocate for a foster child. Once the child was adopted, Barry wanted to continue mentoring children but felt that one-on- one mentoring was limiting. “I wanted to impact more kids with each encounter and to be part of an organization.” Barry remembers. “ I also wanted to give a perspective to kids, that otherwise have been given low expectations, that being a successful man was a worthy pursuit in and of itself.” That is where Boys to Men fit in. Barry stumbled on Boys to Men in 2014 and soon began mentoring at Montgomery Middle School. “The concept of adults working together with kids was new to me, but it was perfect because I have just as much fun working with the adults as I do kids. To see the passion and integrity of so many good men is inspiring,” Barry [...]

By | March 29th, 2018|Mentor|0 Comments

1 Wave Challenge Falls Short of Smashing World Record; Raises over $104,000 for Boys to Men Mentoring

(San Diego, CA) 172 surfers gathered at La Jolla Shores this morning, for the chance to smash the current world record for the Most Surfers Riding 1 Wave, a feat accomplished 10 years ago in Cape Town, South Africa, when 110 surfers rode a single wave into shore. Of 12 attempts, one particular wave (#5) struck spotters as particularly promising. The wave, according to 1 Wave Challenge founder and Valley View Casino Center General Manager Ernie Hahn recalled, “swept up a lot of the surfers in the lineup,” leading spotters to believe that the surfers may have ridden a wave into history. Upon review of film footage, however, the wave that participants had pinned their hopes on came up short of the 111 surfers – standing in unison for a five-second glide – required to break the standing world record. Hahn said, "It was an incredible experience surfing into history with the 1 Wave Challenge. As I expected, San Diegans came out on a beautiful southern California morning to support an event that brought together Boys to Men, the Century Club of San Diego and the Farmers Insurance Open for an important cause. Everyone who participated in the 1 Wave Challenge is a winner. I'm proud to have been part of such an inspiring community effort." ​Official Judge and Wave Wrangler Bird Huffman took the results to heart, but expressed his determination to lead the way to victory next year. "Although the current record was not broken, the event was very well attended with fun had by all. This was not an easy feat. The World Record Breaking 1 Wave Challenge & Beach Run invited surfers to share a single wave for the benefit of Boys [...]

By | March 12th, 2018|1 Wave Challenge & Beach Run|0 Comments

Another Day

Written by Joe Sigurdson, Community Development Director Another day, another mass shooting in America. The arguments that follow are painfully predictable: “We need stricter gun laws and background checks!” “This is not a gun issue; it’s a mental health issue!” “Stop politicizing the issue. It’s too soon to talk about this. Let the families grieve!” Here’s the deal: We HAVE to talk about this now. We have allowed others to speak for us for too long, and we cannot trust any legislation to provide the answers to this problem. We cannot keep deferring the responsibility to politicians. It is going to take work on our part to stop these shootings from happening. We, as a society, are dealing with the outcome of a culture that is producing disconnected children. Our children are trying to hastily fill the gaps in their lives instead of creating genuine connection with their community. Many children, especially boys, turn to gangs, drugs, alcohol, stealing, cutting, and pornography to fill those gaps and numb the pains of loneliness. In my 21 years of working with young men, I have observed several basic needs that are essential for every human being to thrive. Most of these needs are driven by primal desires that are imprinted in our DNA as social beings: the need to be connected, the need to be valued, and the need to have PURPOSE. These exist in all cultures around the planet and tap into a part of our soul that longs to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. This is the need that draws us to fiercely defend our family, religion, country, community, sports teams, etc. Simply put, we all long for a sense of purpose, [...]

By | February 21st, 2018|boys, program|0 Comments

Surfers and Runners TEAM UP for World Record-Breaking 1 Wave Challenge & Beach Run

Extending its impact zone beyond the surfing community, the world record-breaking 1 Wave Challenge charges into the New Year with a new name and an expanded constituency. Rebranded as the 1 Wave Challenge & Beach Run, the event invites runners and walkers to lace up their sneakers and head to La Jolla Shores on the morning of Saturday, January 27th. In addition to offering surfers the chance to break the Guinness World Record for the most surfers riding a single wave into shore, the 1 Wave Challenge & Beach Run offers runners the chance to participate in an exhilarating 5-mile trek stretching from La Jolla Shores, to Blacks Beach, and to the southern rim of the Torrey Pines Golf Course where the Farmers Insurance Open will unfold. An alternative 5K Beach Run/Walk will ensure that joggers and walkers, including families, can join in the fun. The 1 Wave Challenge & Beach Run benefits Boys to Men Mentoring Network, a San Diego nonprofit dedicated to guiding and supporting at-risk and fatherless boys on their journey to manhood. Fueled by Boys to Men’s partnership with The Century Club of San Diego’s Champions for Youth campaign and a generous Title Sponsorship by Dr. Bronner’s All One!, the 1 Wave Challenge and Beach Run taps into the excitement of the closing weekend of the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament. The 1 Wave Challenge will attract 200 surfers to La Jolla Shores for the chance to smash the current world record for Most Surfers Riding One Wave, a feat accomplished almost ten years ago in Cape Town, South Africa, when 110 surfers rode a single wave to shore. Envisioned as a counterpoint fundraiser to Boys to Men’s successful 100 [...]