"It was an opportunity for me to know what's out there, discover new schools," Miguel said. "It was kind of like the moment I discovered I wanted to go to [Cal Poly San Luis Obispo]. It kind of really opened up my eyes."
Meanwhile, the organization's original mission slipped into the background.
"It started as a gang-prevention program to provide a safe place for teenagers and to give them an alternative to street life," Forbath said. "That was our original thing, but we have really grown from that because we see the needs are not just for kids in danger of joining gangs, but for all the kids that are in danger, or at risk of not fulfilling their potential."
'We're still in intensive care'
It was in SOY's first couple years that a donor came forward to give the budding organization financial security — a gift that allowed them to take risks, Forbath said.