A Word from our Founders
Donna owned and operated Savage Financial Group, Inc., a mortgage brokerage in Tucson, Arizona, where she managed their financial planning and mortgage brokerage business.
In 2009, Mark surrendered his license to educate as a financial coach and mentor. Mark has a heart for mentoring young men who don’t have a father present in their life.
Currently, according to fatherless home statistics, 17.4 million children live in fatherless homes. This amounts to almost a quarter of all American children – more precisely, 23.6%. That percentage is nearly three times the level in 1960 of 9 percent.
Mark, himself, was one of those percentages. In 1974, at age 17, Mark lost his father to an illness, leaving behind Mark’s mother and five children. He realized that if young adults were taught early before and into their college and career years by applying the same principles that he used for his clients, they could secure and stabilize their financial future.
In 2003, Mark and Donna moved from Tucson, Arizona to Kula, Hawaii, where in 2011, they founded YSF as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) to serve the needs of young people starting out with little or no financial skills. As their client base aged, so did their need for housing and credit counseling.
Today, YSF is based in Surprise, Arizona, where they serve their community in the areas of housing, credit, and financial literacy counseling.
Our services include:
- New Homebuyer Education
- Homeownership Education
- Credit Counseling
- Foreclosure Prevention Assistance
- Mortgage Default Counseling
- Counseling and Education for Senior Housing
- And Much More!
It is our mission to provide accessible tools and resources to community members that have not previously been afforded the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of how they can take control of their financial future and begin to rectify mistakes of the past. For individuals that have experienced traumatic life events or have historically experienced systemic barriers to participation, our work provides them with the foundation needed to identify their next steps and to move forward, overcome past misfortunes, and ultimately achieve their goals of homeownership and financial stability. Our youth program proactively serves middle and high school students, ensuring that they gain the valuable knowledge related to budgeting, spending, and credit that is necessary to navigate adulthood and future independent living.
Currently, YSF is partnering with the City of Tolleson Resource Center to provide Financial Literacy Education to the residents of Tolleson and the surrounding communities. We also provide financial literacy classes and 1-on-1 counseling in partnership with the City of Surprise, to low- and middle-income families located in the Surprise Opportunity Zone and the City of El Mirage. Most recently, YSF has been providing 1-on-1 counseling to clients at the Saguaro Jane Food Bank in Wittmann, AZ, on a walk-in basis the first Thursday of the month when they pick up their food boxes. We have also begun working with the Housing Authority of Maricopa County Resident Services Program, to teach financial classes and 1-on-1 counseling to clients living in temporary housing.
Through YSF’s counseling and educational services, families are able to gain a foundational financial education, qualify for lending, increase their disposable income through budgeting, and overcome debt accumulation. Through our work with youth, we provide a jump-start to financial literacy and the tools necessary to avoid common financial pitfalls and missteps. These tangible and crucial skills are rarely taught to our young people, even in post-secondary classrooms. The ultimate outcome of our work is marked progress towards financial independence and self-sufficiency, enabling participants to stabilize their environment, which keeps kids in school, allows families to stay in their existing neighborhood (or move to a more desirable one with better opportunities), and provides relief from the burden of debt-induced stress.
- Our experienced counselors are highly trained, caring individuals who look at the whole person.
- We are local in the West Valley of Phoenix.
- We have access to many local/national government services and programs to help you secure your best financial future.
- We offer seminars, classes, and one-on-one counseling in all areas, tailored to your needs.
Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Vice President, Board of Directors
President, Executive Director
Secretary, Board of Directors
As we look towards Fiscal 2023-2024, to remain on pace with the community’s growing need for our services and to expand our program offerings, YSF is seeking to increase our organization’s capacity through volunteers and community outreach, in addition to financial support from corporate partnerships.
- List of Resources for Community:
- Maricopa County CAP / HAF
- City of Surprise Resource Center
- Tolleson Resource Center