Archive Page 2

Thank you Ryan Cosgrove

Ryan playing hangman on the computer with a youth at the shelter. One of our informal mentors, Ryan Cosgrove, is graduating from Grand View College (which is right across the street from Polk County Youth Services).  He has mentored seven boys in the last two years he served with us at the shelter.

He is going on to seminary in Pennsylvania, and we wish him the very best.  Thank you Ryan for your service!  The staff at the shelter appreciate your sacrifice of time coming to meet with the boys, and so do we.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Fatherless Homes At Risk

Some sobering statistics:

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes–U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes–Center for Disease Control
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes–Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes–National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools
  • 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes–U.S. Dept. of Justice
  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home–Fulton County Georgia jail populations & Texas Dept. of Corrections

Translating these – Children from a fatherless home are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of school
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison

HT: Kurt Johnston

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Mentor Training – 5/4/08

Serve Our Youth Network has an upcoming mentor training on Sunday, May 4 (6:00p – 9:00p).

Our training will be held at Polk County Youth Services in Des Moines (1548 Hull Ave. in Des Moines).  To RSVP contact Shane Vander Hart by e-mail or at (515) 321-5077 by Friday, May 2. 

Our mentor training is free and attendees can expect to learn:

  • Roles and expectations of mentors
  • Details about SOY’s mentoring program (policies & procedures and screening and matching process)
  • Qualities of a successful mentor
  • Characteristics of the kids we serve.
  • How mentors help kids through asset-building.
  • How to communicate well with mentees.

Technorati Tags: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Speaking at RockFest

Shane Vander Hart, our Director of Ministries & Volunteer Development was asked to speak at RockFest 2 in between bands.

RockFest 2 was a Christian music event held in Pella, IA on 4/20/08.  Below is a video of Shane speaking.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Banquet will feature Griswell, Bouma

Our upcoming Spring Banquet on May 8th is fast approaching.  It will be held from 6:30-8:30p at the Holiday Inn on Merle Hay Road in Des Moines, south of I-80.  If you would like to RSVP for this free event (space is limited) e-mail us or call us at (866) 620-9037  Our speaker for the evening is Barry Griswell,  former CEO (and now chairman of the board) of the Principal Financial Group.

Griswell joined the Principal in 1988 as an officer and agency vice president. He became senior vice president in 1991 and executive vice president in 1996. He was named president in 1998, became CEO in 2000 and chairman of the board in 2002. Prior to his association with the Principal Financial Group, he served as president and CEO of MetLife Marketing Corporation, a brokerage and supplementary distribution-marketing subsidiary of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, J. Barry Griswell was the product of a troubled home. With an alcoholic father and a stressful family life, he sold newspapers and bagged groceries to help the family make ends meet. By the age of 15, he was loading trucks. The adversity seemed to strengthen him. On a full scholarship, he attended Berry College in Rome, Georgia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1971. He went on to earn a master’s degree from Stetson University in 1972.

Griswell lends his leadership and expertise to many industry and community organizations, among them the American Council of Life Insurers, The Business Roundtable, Herman Miller Inc., the S.S. Huebner Foundation for Insurance Education and the United Way of America. Among his numerous honors are the Horatio Alger Association Distinguished American Award, the Oscar C. Schmidt Iowa Business Leadership Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He is also an inductee into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame.

He is a member at Ashworth Road Baptist Church in West Des Moines.

Our emcee for the evening will be Brooke Bouma who is the anchor of the Today in Iowa program seen weekday mornings from 5 to 7 on WHO-TV 13.

Raised on a farm outside of Ottumwa, IA.  Bouma graduated from Eddyville High School, and later attended Central College graduating with a degree in Communication in 1996.  She first worked KTVO in Ottumwa, and then worked as a the morning show anchor and reporter for WIBW in Topeka, KS.

Bouma started with WHO-TV in 2000 as a reporter, and then  in 2003 became Today in Iowa anchor.  She enjoys spending time with her husband and their son, Evan.

We look forward to having both Barry Griswell and Brooke Bouma with us at our upcoming banquet.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Mentor Recruitment Ambassadors


1. a messenger on a special mission

Serve Our Youth Network needs messengers who are willing to share the truth that mentoring works: it helps young people make positive life choices while building their self-confidence and values.  We need recruiters willing to ask the people in their world to consider giving their time, wisdom, and friendship to young people waiting for an adult to care about them.  As a Mentor Recruitment Ambassador, or MRA, you are truly a messenger with a special mission.

It begins with the goal of recruiting five adults into the interview process with Serve Our Youth Network.  Ambassadors focus on recruiting new mentors from specific groups and settings to which they have access such as:

  • Congregations
  • Service organizations and clubs
  • Colleges & Universities

Each MRA will receive individual training & support, as well as, be able to participate in MRA team meetings as well.  Each MRA will receive an starter kit that will include:

If you are interested in being a Mentor Recruitment Ambassador please contact Shane Vander Hart at or (515) 321-5077 to schedule an MRA orientation.

Technorati Tags: ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

SPAM Dinner

Meredith Drive Reformed Church in Des Moines has a small group that hosts a dinner every year that highlights SPAM, yes that canned, um… meat that will forever be a part of Americana.  They decided to use the dinner to highlight the work of Serve Our Youth Network as well.  I don’t think there is any correlation between SPAM and SOY however.  Mary Tomlinson, our Des Moines volunteer coordinator, represented us and took these pictures.


Gail Spitzer made a SPAM & Pineapple Pizza.


This is Jerry Brown who is showing off how many varieties of SPAM there are.


Serving behind the counter is Sherry Simpson, in line from left to right – three youth from the Wilson family, and SOY volunteers Joyce & John Lutz.


Serving from Left to Right – Jerry Brown, Sherry Simpson & Gary Busby.

IMG_0073 IMG_0072

IMG_0074 IMG_0075

SOY Volunteers Jody Lutterman and Beth Draheim


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Subscribe to Blog

website stats