Our Story

Student-Athletes Focusing on Education was founded in the month of October in the year 2015. S.A.F.E. was inspired by a federal grant received by the Center for Educational Partnerships (CEP) at the University of California, Merced for continuing to prepare high school level students to graduate and attend college. With the guidance from the Interim Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs, Dr. Charles Nies, S.A.F.E. was developed to help provide endless opportunities for high school students towards attending post-secondary education. S.A.F.E. was founded by Michael Pierick and nine other original S.A.F.E. Officers. This program was created for the student-athletes at the University of California, Merced to empower and impact our youth in the local Merced county. 

As student-athletes we realize we are in a unique situation while attending universities and colleges around the country. What is more important to us is that we understand that we can share, teach, and empower our experience to the youth around us aspiring to be an intercollegiate student-athlete one day. The idea is that every youth student who is on their path to attending post-secondary education has their own individual way of achieving that level of success. We believe and know that the current intercollegiate student-athletes have at once experienced those exact same experiences and pathways. Through various programs and mentorships we will assist the youth of our communities, in not making the decision for them, but assisting them in making decisions that will empower them to succeed.