Youth Development

SUMMER OF SERVICE SOS

Learn. Serve. Explore.

aka SOS

San Antonio, TX

Mission

Summer of Service (SOS) is dedicated to education through service and travel by providing students with the opportunity to learn abroad in order to better their own communities and serve back home. We see a world in which all young people - no matter their background - believe in their power to make a positive difference in their communities.

Ruling Year

2014

Executive Director

Mr. Amir Samandi

Main Address

Po Box 780674

San Antonio, TX 78278 USA

Keywords

Youth Development, Study Abroad, Volunteering, Community Service

EIN

47-2212526

 Number

4537450982

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

International Cultural Exchange (Q21)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Mission: Summer of Service (SOS) is dedicated to education through service and travel by providing students with the opportunity to learn abroad in order to better their own communities and serve back home. Vision: We see a world in which all young people - no matter their background - believe in their power to make a positive difference in their communities.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SOS Serve Program

SOS Explore Program

SOS Learn Program

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Summer of Service (SOS) was founded in 2014 on the belief that bringing young people from all parts of San Antonio together to engage in local service projects and international travel will: stoke ongoing passion in young people for service and civic engagement, create “global citizens” by supplementing formal education in civics, world cultures and geography, build geographically diverse networks of young people and expand the cultural capital of disadvantaged students by exposing them to travel and more advantaged peers.

Our service delivery model has two active pillars: Serve and Explore. The Serve program promotes local community engagement through volunteering. This includes student service projects coordinated by our all-volunteer staff and projects entirely designed and led by students (called Make It Happen projects). Since our inception, SOS has facilitated nearly 17,000 hours of community service, engaging 950 middle- and high-school students in nearly 800 unique service opportunities. Service project partners include the SA River Foundation, SAMM Ministries, and the SA Food Bank. The Explore program broadens horizons through international trips with accompanying customized curriculum. Since 2014, we have led over 250 students on trips to locations like Peru, Greece, China, and Australia. This includes 50 students from underrepresented communities who participated via scholarship. Our long-term goal is a 50/50 mix of scholarship and full-paying student attendees.

As an all-volunteer run organization, SOS is founded and sustained by participatory, community-based decision making. A host of dedicated volunteer leaders from different fields- including education, tech, banking, international relations- collaborate with trip partners from across the world to create meaningful experiences for young people traveling internationally and serving locally. SOS leaders rely on feedback from on-the-ground community members to shape activities, lesson plans and itineraries. Local nonprofit staff play a key role in shaping the service projects students engage with in our community. SOS leaders rely on their input to match students’ skills and interests with meaningful service projects. In addition, Make It Happen projects are completely student-driven, beginning with the initial project idea and continuing through project execution.

Participants graduating high school take part in a survey gauging SOS’s impact in a number of areas. We aim for at least 75% of respondents to agree or strongly agree with survey items. In last year’s survey, 83% agreed or strongly agreed that involvement with SOS programs made them want to study more. 100% agreed or strongly agreed SOS programs helped them understand what it means to be a global citizen. Finally, the top five skills respondents mentioned strengthening through SOS involvement were: communication, leadership, self-management, etiquette, and hard work.

Currently we aim to provide at least 10 students with demonstrable financial need with scholarships to attend Explore trips each year. Our long-term goal is for Explore trips to be a 50/50 mix of scholarship and full-paying participants; at current service levels, this will translate to our providing an additional 15 underserved students a year the opportunity to go on a horizon-expanding study abroad trip. Young people must record at least 15 hours of pre-trip service with SOS through our Serve program to be eligible for a trip. In addition to tracking these hours, we track how many students continue serving our community beyond the trip. Currently almost 70% of SOS students exceed minimum requirements by continuing to serve locally following their trips, exceeding our 50% target.

External Reviews

Financials

SUMMER OF SERVICE SOS

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No