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Stay Focused Ministries is a nonprofit organization located in Bakersfield, California. Founded by Manuel Carrizalez in 1991, Stay Focused started out by going into neighborhoods and inner cities to hold community outreaches to spread the message of hope and create peace. Since 1991 we have grown in many ways; in 2005 Manuel Carrizalez founded Reach 4 Greatness mentoring program. Reach 4 Greatness (R4G) encourages students at school assemblies, foster one-on-one mentoring relationships, hold group mentoring programs on school campuses, and hold “Thinking for Change” (T4C) classes at our office. Stay Focused continues to hold large community outreaches periodically. Stay Focused Ministries partners with various churches and organization for events and outreaches.

Mission Statement

Stay Focused Ministries’ mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize communities through hope with the belief that they can improve their quality of life. We can accomplish this with the fundamental belief that we can bring hope to the communities by empowering people with the courage to dream- one neighborhood at a time. We spend a majority of our time trying to reach children before they become involved in drugs, alcohol, gangs and other self-destructive lifestyles.

Manuel Carrizalez BIOGRAPHY


Manuel Carrizalez

Founder/ Executive Director
Stay Focused, Inc. and Reach For Greatness, Inc.

Manuel provides inspiration and intervention to people all over America. In spite of becoming deeply involved with gangs, drugs and the turmoil of that destructive lifestyle; he managed to turn away from it to pursue a new and positive direction through the intervention of a few key friends and mentors.

Manuel began working to inspire and change young people’s lives fulltime in 1991. Stay Focused was incorporated in 1997, non-profit organization, and today he is an ordained minister and a national motivational speaker inspiring thousands of fellow Americans through large outreach events in communities, inner cities neighborhood rallies, school assemblies and a televised program entitled “Stay Focused” on cable TV networks throughout the United States. He is in constant demand as a keynote speaker at youth assemblies in both public and private schools and universities. He also speaks at conferences, neighborhood meetings, community based forums, and various public gatherings locally and nationally to advocate for hurting youth. Stay Focused Outreaches are held throughout the country with often thousands in attendance which include an excellent concert and entertainment with the real message having an emphasis on inspiring youth and parents to “Reach For Greatness,” by recognizing their value.

Manuel is the Executive Director of Reach For Greatness Mentoring Program, another facet of Stay Focused providing school-based, one on one and group mentoring relationships to at risk and high risk students In 27 schools including youth with an incarcerated parent and group mentoring to incarcerated and high risk youth which focuses on character development, making right choices and hope for the future.

Manuel is committed to reaching youth and parents through multi-faceted outreach efforts provided by his dedicated following of volunteers, staff and a well orchestrated plan. Stay Focused is actively involved in offering alternative solutions to those who have become imprisoned by their environment and circumstances. Manuel was invited to share his knowledge regarding mentoring high risk youth at the U.S. Department of Education National Conference in August 2007 and was a speaker at the recent annual White House Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Conference in September 2007 focusing on the importance of parent involvement in prevention of gang violence.