Our mission is to guide middle school students growing up in challenging urban environments to recognize and reach their full potential as members of our community. Through a school-based approach to mentoring, young adolescents are given the tools and support necessary to make positive choices during a critical period in their lives. Our youth are middle school students (typically 11-14 years old) who are rapidly changing in many ways—physically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally. We specifically target students during the middle school years because, while this represents a significant time of risk for many young people, this group is the most overlooked and underserved youth population in Los Angeles. Our students come from challenging communities, where the majority of families live below the poverty line. The areas surrounding our schools frequently suffer from greater levels of unemployment, high crime rates, and gang activity.