Breaking the
Cycle of


Friends of the Children - SF Bay Area is part of a national network that has been utilizing a simple yet radical mentoring model for nearly 30 years to empower the most vulnerable children to break the generational cycle of poverty.

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Professional Mentors

We proactively identify and enroll only the children facing the greatest barriers to success.

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Professional Mentors

We pair each child with a professional — not volunteer — mentor, whose full-time job is to spend 16 hours per month supporting each of eight children.

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12+ years, no matter what

We commit to stay with each child from kindergarten through high school graduation — 12+ years, no matter what!

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Evidence-based approach

We apply a rigorous, evidence-based approach at every stage, monitoring each child's progress, and adjusting our approach accordingly.

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We serve children whose families face daunting barriers like systemic racism, multi-generational poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse, incarceration and/or homelessness — a cohort that few other organizations seek to serve.

COVID-19 has significantly exacerbated those challenges. Members of the community we serve are testing positive at a rate five to six times as high as residents of more affluent neighborhoods. And the economic effects of the pandemic fall disproportionately on those same families, whose jobs are often the first eliminated and last restored, and who frequently have insecure housing and insufficient health insurance.

We are expanding our focus during this time to address the most urgent concerns of our families, for example making regular food and meal deliveries, providing laptops and internet connections to help our children bridge the digital divide, and connecting our families with other agencies that can help address their needs.

Friends of the Children’s nearly 30-year track record shows that, with the additional support of our professional mentors, our children can break the cycle of poverty.


83% of Our Youth
Earn a high
school diploma
or a GED.

Avoid jail

93% of Our Youth
Remain free from
juvenile justice
system involvement.

Wait to Parent

98% of Our Youth
Wait to parent
until after their
teen years.

Secondary education

92% of Our Youth
Go on to enroll in post-
secondary education,
serve our country or
enter the workforce.

Friends of the Children - SF Bay Area opened our doors in early 2017. We identify and enroll a new class of Bayview Hunters Point kindergarteners each Spring, so we’re now serving nearly 100 children who face the biggest barriers in life — well on the way to our goal of serving 500.

Our youth need us more now than ever, their caregivers are uniformly supportive, and our school and community partners have embraced the program. One principal told us: “I feel like each of our students who has a Friends of the Children mentor has a light inside of them that many of our other children don’t have.”

We’re excited about the progress we’ve made thus far and about our children’s futures.

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