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One thing is certain: we couldn’t do this without you. It’s our 30 year anniversary and when I say our, I mean all of us. Including, but surely not limited to: Our founder, Carl Simone, Program Developer Joy Berchen, the Hutson Family, incredible donors, staff, partnering agencies, Board of Directors, volunteers, and most of all the children we have served. Without each person we would not have grown, served, healed, learned cherished or flourished. Thousands of people have touched this organization in some way to make a significant impact in a child’s life. There is no way to properly say thank you to everyone but it is my deepest prayer that everyone has a feeling of pride and satisfaction f rom being a part of SAYS. Recently, I was telling someone about my

journey with SAYS, and about how I too have grown up on this campus. The people who have joined me on this path have changed my life. I am truly grateful to all I have met and take great pride in the work that we have accomplished together. Every single success we have had has come f rom a community of people working alongside each other to create something better and brighter. Last week I was talking with a young man (now 40) who was one of my first kids here at SAYS. He said he had to “thank all of us because we made a rough start to life better ” and in the end isn’t that what we all want: to help make someone’s life better? It will never be enough - but thank you for making lives better… including mine.

- Schuyler Siefker

“This organization does wonderful things for our community... I'm proud to be a part of them!� -Teresa Mercurio



February 20th,

SAYS became a United Way partner agency.


St. Augustine Youth Services opened its first two group homes on Saragossa Street in downtown St. Augustine.



children served

PIL provides a step-down program for 10 youth, ages 14-17, who graduate from our therapeutic group homes or are referred.

Founded by Mr. John Ravan, the Wildwood Inshore Fishing Tournament takes place each summer at the St. Augustine Boating Club.

T.R. A .I.L .S PROGRAM TRAILS served as an indepdendent living, step-down program, from 2003-2010.

1991 1990

2002 2003 1993

1995 1999


TRADE WINDS HOLIDAY AUCTION Thanks to the Leonard Family, the SAYS Holiday Auction hosted by Trade Winds Lounge continues to grow and raise critical funds for SAYS programs.

1992 GOLF TOURNAMENT SAYS’ annual golf tournament (1995-2016) began as the Coggin Automative Golf Classic.

DOERS & DREAMERS One of SAYS’ first residents, Carl Matthews, was the recipient of Disney’s Doers & Dreamers.

SCHUYLER SIEFKER CEO of SAYS, Schuyler, joined the team as a Youth Counselor in Sept. 1990.

In honor of alum, Jesse Shaver, who passed away unexpectedly at age 18; the Jesse Shaver Fund was created to assist youth aging out of SAYS.


CARF ACCREDITATION SAYS has consistently been awarded the National Accreditation for Child and Adolescent Residential Treatment Programs, which is the highest recognition of the accrediting body.

MOBILE CRISIS RESPONSE TEAM Mobile Crisis Response Team was launched in 2015 to help reduce the alarming rate of youth hospitalizations (Baker Acts) in St. Johns County.



counties served by COACHES (St. Johns, Putnam, Volusia, & Flagler)

Led by Donna DeLorenzo and Barry Sand, FC ENACTUS partnered with SAYS and launched ‘Soapy Tales’.

TRANSITIONAL LIFE COACHES COACHES support youth, ages 16-21, who are nearing adulthood with little system of support and a history of behavioral health issues

TARGETED CASE MANAGEMENT TCM services include assessing, linking, advocating, planning, and monitoring St. Johns County youth and family needs to meet identified goals.

CHAIRMAN OF THE YEAR: CARL SIMONE Awarded by the Florida Coalition for Children.

2012 2008



2017 2018

2013 2011 2015


ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE: PAM YOUNG Awarded by the Florida Coalition for Children.


ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR: SCHUYLER SIEKFER Awarded by Florida Coalition for Children.

Founded by SAYS supporter, Mary Jacobs, Santa Suits on the Loose 5k has become SAYS’ largest annual fundraiser.

AMERIS BAILEY HOUSE The opening of SAYS’ 4th group home increases residential capacity from 30 to 40 beds.

THE BEST IS COMMUNITY ACTION TEAM (CAT) CAT is a safe and effective alternative to out-of-home placement for children with serious behavioral health conditions. HUTSON FAMILY CAMPUS Thanks to a generous donation from the Hutson Family, SAYS completed their campus at 201 Simone Way.



Join us as we celebrate 30 years of serving children and help us prepare for the many years to come.




Carl came to SAYS in 1989. Since then, the goals he has accomplished and the fears he has conquered still amaze us.

Thomas came to SAYS Little Boy’s House in 2006. Before aging out in 2012, he would live in all four of SAYS' houses, including the TRAILS program.

As a teenager, Michael came to SAYS after multiple placements in the foster care system. When he arrived, he told his new therapist, Josie, that he was done moving and wanted to stay at SAYS until he aged-out at 18. He did just that.

Carl was af raid to swim; he became a lifeguard. He was af raid to fly; he traveled by plane to Colorado and Switzerland with the St. Augustine High School Jazz Ambassadors. He was the recipient of the St. Johns County “Doers and Dreamers” award – presented by Disney to one middle school student in each county – while attending Sebastian Middle School. He was also St. Augustine High School’s Senior Class President and gave a speech that made us all cry. Carl’s kind heart has continued to guide his accomplishments. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a Flight Medic for 10 years. In 2017, he graduated with a degree in Business and found a passion for alternative energy. With no solar energy schools near his home, Carl returned to school to pursue his current career as an electrician.

“One of the most significant moments I can remember f rom my time at SAYS was when I stole food f rom our house kitchen. My House Parents didn’t get upset or ground me. Instead, they took the time to learn that previously I didn’t have a home-life that provided food for me. My House Parent, Jim, said “ Tell me when you’re hungry. You will always have food here.” He treated me like his real son and to this day I call him.” Thomas obtained his high school degree before attending First Coast Technical College where he received licenses for massage therapy and pharmacy technician. His education didn’t stop there. In 2017, Thomas graduated f rom UNF with a degree in Biochemistry. “I want to use my success as a foster care youth to create a platform that will empower all foster care youth to succeed.”

Alumni Highlights

After aging-out, Michael continued to stay close to his SAYS family whom he credits with making him the man he is today. Staff will often share how touched they were to attend Michael & Jessica’s wedding in 2013. “SAYS was the first time I truly fel t what a loving family felt like. I still carry the lessons I learned f rom them with me to this day, trying to make the world a better, brighter place for those around me any way that I can.” Because of his drive and passion to give back, Michael now serves on the St. Augustine Youth Services Board of Directors. “I am humbled and honored to bring the residents' perspective to the Board Room. I am thankful for the opportunity to give back and do whatever I can to make sure SAYS continues to be a safe, family style environment, as it was for me when I myself was a young boy in need.”



Michael left SAYS in 1999. Since then, he’s been busy.

One of our most recent alums, Aiden, has been working hard to reach the immense potential we all see in him. This is what he has to say about SAYS:

Michael first joined the Job Corps in Miami, Florida. There he became a certified carpenter and earned his high school diploma. Next, he joined the U.S. Navy and traveled to Japan, Guam, Puerto Rico, Iraq, and Spain. Mike gave civilian life a try for a bit, but due to his love for his country, Mike then joined the U.S. Army and served in Afghanistan for 18 months. Mike has also worked as a state certified corrections officer, a patient care technician in a Mental Health Crisis Center, and a security guard on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Mike simply states “You can never stop moving forward.” He is now living in California, has bought his own home, and is studying to be an elevator mechanic.

“SAYS inspired me to do so much more than I originally thought I could do. Coming to SAYS, I had no hope that my situation would get better. I had so little self-esteem, that for some reason I wanted to go back to my abusive home. It was my House Parents, Ms. Connie and Mr. Milton that really got it into my head that I didn't need them. The love those two constantly showed me revealed that going back home wasn't in my best interest. Furthermore, I'll always remember Ms. Nel and Mr. Keith's words: "They don't deserve a son as awesome, intelligent, and ambitious as you". Those two also opened my eyes to see my full potential and realize my old family was nothing but toxic to what I could achieve. Ms. Mamie and Mr. Sylvester taught me that forgiveness, above all, is the greatest virtue. That helped me shrug off all the stress and burden

accumulated f rom losing my family. Ms. Vickie and Mr. Ben emphasized to me the importance of accountability and taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my time at SAYS: I can't use my past as a crutch or an excuse for the things I have full control over. I could go on all day about how each individual staff member at SAYS impacted me in such a positive way (Ms. Pam, Mr. Rick, Ms. Schuyler, Ms. Chelsea, Mr. Cole, Mr. Thomas, etc.) but in a nutshell, SAYS changed my life. Now, I'm continuing my track and field career, I landed a key spot on my high school’s football roster, and I'm in the process of enlisting to the US Army National Guard. I scored an 82 on my ASVAB AFQT!!! I have amazing support. None of this would have happened if it wasn't for St. Augustine Youth Services. Thank you for steering me in the right direction... Thank you for saving my life.”

“Thank you for steering me in the right direction... Thank you for saving my life.” -Aiden A .

Board of Directors Ca rl Sim o n e, Foun de r Ja m es T h o rnwell Mich ele H ollis ter Dick Dion R obi n Burchfield Micha el Salvato

Staff Celebrating 25+ years with SAYS S chu yler Siefker Pa m You n g Ri ck Tes tasecca S usan Zits man D avi d Siefker J a m es Damiani D r. Rick Filippi

SUPPORT Your support matters. Help us continue to grow our programs and serve more Florida youth. Online: Mail to: 201 Simone Way, St. Augustine, FL 32086 Call: (904) 829-1770

Sign-up for print and digital versions of our newsletter at @stayouthservices

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SAYS 30th Anniversary Booklet  

St. Augustine Youth Services' 30th Anniversary booklet takes a look back on our first thirty years of serving children in Florida.

SAYS 30th Anniversary Booklet  

St. Augustine Youth Services' 30th Anniversary booklet takes a look back on our first thirty years of serving children in Florida.

Profile for sayskids