Learn. Serve. Explore.

aka SOS   |   San Antonio, TX   |

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GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 47-2212526


Students of Service (SOS) develops young leaders who have a global perspective to solve local problems. Our programs combine meaningful local community service with informed international experiences.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Amir Samandi

Main address

Po Box 780674

San Antonio, TX 78278 USA

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Subject area info

Cultural awareness

Elementary and secondary education

Out-of-school learning

Community service for youth

International relations

Population served info


Economically disadvantaged people

At-risk youth

Children and youth

NTEE code info

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

International Cultural Exchange (Q21)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms

Show Forms 990


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

SOS Serve Program

SOS organizes and leads students ages 12-18 through monthly community service opportunities throughout San Antonio. Students are encouraged to learn empathy for those we serve and gain a deeper understanding of the needs of our community.

The Serve program promotes youth empowerment and socially-conscious entrepreneurship through local community engagement. The program has two arms: ‘Community Action’ and ‘Make It Happen.’ SOS staff coordinate and lead ‘Serve’ service projects at San Antonio-area nonprofits. The ‘Make It Happen’ initiative is student-driven; students submit their community service ideas to SOS serve staff, then either partner with local nonprofits or lead independent efforts to see their ideas come to life.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Through travel abroad, students learn more about the world around them, and about themselves. In the process, students return inspired to give back and make their own community better and become actively engaged global citizens. The Explore program broadens horizons and exposes young people to new ideas and opportunities through international trips with accompanying customized curriculum. Since 2014, we have led 12 groups of students on trips to locations, including: Peru, Greece, China, Belize and Australia.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth

Our Learn program provides opportunities for students to learn soft skills that will benefit them in postsecondary and career settings. Through our Student Leadership Council, our Summer Internship Program, as well as our college readiness and career exploration programs, SOS is helping to develop the next generation of globally minded leaders in San Antonio.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

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.

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.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 30.43 over 7 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 1.3 over 7 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 1% over 7 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of STUDENTS OF SERVICE SOS’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$25,256 -$11,937 $52,484
As % of expenses -7.2% -2.1% 11.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$25,256 -$11,937 $52,484
As % of expenses -7.2% -2.1% 11.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $327,158 $560,895 $505,402
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0% 71.4% 0.0%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 67.6%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 97.9% 97.5% 32.1%
Other revenue 2.1% 2.5% 0.3%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $352,414 $558,608 $452,609
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0% 58.5% 0.0%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0% 7.2%
Professional fees 2.5% 1.5% 4.5%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 3.1% 0.8% 5.5%
All other expenses 94.3% 97.7% 82.8%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $352,414 $558,608 $452,609
One month of savings $29,368 $46,551 $37,717
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $381,782 $605,159 $490,326

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2022
Months of cash 1.9 2.2 4.8
Months of cash and investments 1.9 2.2 4.8
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.8 0.8 4.9
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2022
Cash $54,895 $103,490 $181,462
Investments $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 6.3% 65.5% 0.5%
Unrestricted net assets $0 $0 $0
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $51,433 $39,496 $184,109

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2022
Material data errors No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Mr. Amir Samandi

Amir Samandi is the Founder and Executive Director of Students of Service (SOS). Amir originally had the idea to create SOS in 2003 while he was working at the U.S. Department of State. He realized that through service and travel abroad, Americans could become better informed and engaged global citizens. It wasn't until 2014 that his idea could come to life! He had changed careers to become a public school teacher in a predominately low-income, Hispanic school in San Antonio, Texas. A student saw a picture of the Eiffel Tower on his desk and asked if she could go there and Amir realized that SOS needed to become a reality. He knew that kids like her needed opportunities to learn through service to others and travel abroad in a way that a classroom cannot teach. Since then, SOS has performed thousands of hours of community service in San Antonio and abroad, in addition to having taken many students on trips abroad. Amir is married and has three sons.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 02/07/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Morgan Jones

Spurs Sports & Entertainment

Term: 2024 - 2025

Jennifer Lloyd

St. Mary's University

Lauren McLeaird

Activision Blizzard

Christian Valerio

Oliver Wyman

Leslie Palmer

MLP Consultants

Morgan Jones

Spurs Sports & Entertainment

Martha Henry

City of San Antonio

Derek Schriver

Schriver & Carmona

David Johnson

TransformEd Consulting

Alicia Fawcett

Greater SATX

Kim Leible


Stephanie Ockenfels

Arboretum San Antonio

Frank Solis

Taco Cabana

Julian Mathews

Life Long Financial Services

Zak Seibert

Keller Williams Realty

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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 and 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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/7/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation