Creating Safe Places for Every Youth to Thrive.
Providing a Safe Place to Clear Space for Underserved Youth, While Igniting Change from the Inside Out.
The youth we serve grow up in disadvantaged communities. When comparing their circumstances to the national average, it’s apparent that these young individuals are born into a more challenging environment and need tools and support that help level the playing field:
Graduation rate in WeMentor360 zip codes vs. U.S. average
Poverty rate in WeMentor360 zip codes vs. U.S. average
Crime rate in WeMentor360 zip codes vs. U.S. average
A Closer Look at LA
2021 increase in shooting victims compared to 2020
Average shooting victims per week in 2021
2021 increase in violent crime Compared to 2020
From Our Founder: Rick McGregor
"I was born in 1973 at St. Francis hospital in Lynwood California to Rickey Dewayne McGregor Sr., and Valene Armstrong. My childhood was filled with a lot of love. Unfortunately, it was also filled with dysfunction because of drugs, alcohol, and a lineage of abuse. I have suffered many losses along the way to drugs and violence, which still affects me to this day. This is one of the main reasons why I have dedicated my life to serving youth and my community.
I used to think that I stumbled into mentoring by accident but have since learned that this is something I have been called to do. I was always the 'Why me?' guy growing up. Why so much pain? Why so much hurt? Why so much loss? Why so much dysfunction? But what I realized was that all those whys have made me extremely effective in connecting with the severe brokenness in our community.
It all started in church when I noticed all the single mothers and the many young boys that were without a positive male presence in their homes. One day, I walked about eight boys to the local park to sign them up for football and the park director asked me if I would be willing to coach. I had a real love for the game and had played pop-warner as a youth but could never get on the field in high school because of my grades and lack of discipline. I had no plans of coaching but when he offered me a discount for the boys, I decided to do it.
Our first day of practice was amazing and my love for serving youth began growing in ways I could’ve never imagined. After a few weeks, I vividly remember parents coming up to me after practice saying that their son is now listening at home and in school, that they’re doing their chores, improving academically, socially, and feeling overall better about themselves. We went on to have several undefeated seasons and a few championships. To see the change in those young people over the course of our first season and the words and tears from the parents at our first banquet changed my life and from that point forward I was hooked. I had discovered my passion.
I would always say to my wife that if I ever got a chance to serve youth professionally, I would jump at the opportunity and then that opportunity came knocking. A friend that I had served with in youth ministry called me about a job opening at Crenshaw High School as a Site Coordinator. Because of a lack of confidence, I had no plans of walking through that door until my wife reminded me of what I said about wanting to make a career out of serving youth. I went to the interview reluctantly and already defeated. But they must have seen something in me because they called me twenty minutes later to offer me the position!
I started with little to no training at a campus that was infamous for gangs and violence, but I felt right at home because of the “whys” that I previously mentioned. I was able to turn the after-school program around and eventually became a program director overseeing 25 schools. Before the promotions, I had started opening my classroom at lunch for any student that wanted to hang out and not be subjected to the random violence that would happen on campus. It started off with a few students and then that number grew to over thirty students coming by on their lunch break to hangout in a safe place.
During that lunch hour I noticed that many of the young men were not groomed and needed haircuts, undergarments, and essentials, so I solicited a barber and began to purchase items to meet their needs out of my own pocket. This is how Fades for Grades was born. After developing our program model, I pitched it to my CEO at the time and she allowed me to be a vendor as well as an employee. After a few years of developing and seeing the positive affect it was having on program participants, I knew it was time to step into my calling fulltime and the rest is HIS-story.”
We Teach D. I. S. C. I. P. L. I. N. E.
During his many years coaching football, Rick learned the importance of D.I.S.C.I.P.L.I.N.E. and how it could determine success both on and off the field.