SOY to honor three influential people

The board of directors for Save Our Youth will honor three people during an anniversary event later this month.

The Costa Mesa-based charity commonly known as SOY, which aims to reduce violence among youths, plans to give awards to Joe Erickson, Carmen Barrios and Ivan Calderon during its fifth annual fiesta on April 26 at Halecrest Park in Costa Mesa. This year's fiesta also commemorates SOY's 20th anniversary.

Erickson is a former Costa Mesa mayor and original SOY board member. He was influential in helping SOY get an operations center at Rea Elementary School.

Barrios helped found SOY and was its second employee. She is described as being its "heart and soul" for 20 years. She continues to volunteer with the organization.

Calderon, a restaurateur, owns Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa and Taco Rosa, which has locations in Newport Beach and Irvine. He is a longtime supporter of SOY, organizers said, and is an underwriter for this year's fiesta.

SOY's involvement helping area youths includes providing academic and arts programs and a university exploration trip for college-bound high school juniors.

— Bradley Zint

Twitter: @bradleyzint

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