• Job Opening - Teen Services Sonoma is looking for a part-time Administrative Assistant to provide administrative and clerical support to managers and staff. For more information, click here
  • The No Name Café is set for the upcoming year with a newly installed ice machine and the new glass-front display refrigerator on its way - all thanks to a Community Grant from Impact100 Sonoma.

I am still smiling as I think about the 4th of July parade and our teens wearing their tie-dyed tee-shirts in keeping with the Summer of Love theme for the parade (see photos below). It was so much fun to hear all the hoots and hollers and love that came from the crowd as we marched by. Though our parade draws thousands of people from outside of the valley, there is still such a strong sense of community generated by this wonderful event.
Another cause for smiles are all of the Ready to Work (RTW) activities going on this summer. The five-day intensive summer course prepared 11 youth for summer jobs. The course at Hanna just ended and the boys wowed everyone at the mock interviews. The Building Project is going full bore with great field trips and presentations adding to the success of the program.
The vitality of the RTW program is reflected in the expanding employer base. The skills learned have resulted in more diverse job placements in a growing number of food service businesses including Ramekins and Basque Boulangerie Café, as well as jobs with Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma Land Trust, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, and the Sonoma Valley Sun among others. The smiles just keep coming!

This summer, the collaborative pilot welding and blacksmithing project that started at Hanna Boys Center in 2016 has returned in an expanded version to include carpentry as well as blacksmithing and welding. During this seven-week program, students learn a variety of construction skills, which they are applying to build a shed at Hanna. That means they are also learning framing, electrical wiring and plumbing and discovering the importance of math!
The course also offers the opportunity to discuss career opportunities with those in the construction trades and enjoy several field trips. Recently the Organization of Electrical Engineers offered a detailed presentation about engineering apprenticeship programs. Electrical Engineer Union Members provided an overview of the requirements and benefits of the programs and then fielded a variety of questions from both the students and course instructors.

After the presentation, students piled into vans and headed to 8th Street East to visit two welding businesses: Steel Geisha Designs specializing in creative hand-made metal products and Munson Design where Martin Munson shared his passion for using recycled materials to create kinetic and functional sculptures.
The Building Project is funded by a Community Grant from Impact100 Sonoma.

Instructor Anastatia Chiurco (left) teaches welding skills to Alondra

"Alondra takes advantage of every opportunity offered," explained Cristin Felso. "I think of her as 'the girl who doesn't say No'." Alondra has not only completed RTW workshops, the speed networking day, volunteered at Cowboy Cab, and works for Lovin' Oven, this summer she is also participating in The Building Project along with 15 boys. Although three girls originally enrolled in the program, two girls dropped out finding the welding and power tools a bit intimidating -  but not Alondra. 
Reflecting on what she has learned so far, Alondra explained "Yesterday we framed two of the walls of the shed, and I had to figure out the area for the window, so I had to use the math I was learning in school. And I used a nail gun and a power saw!"
One of the instructors, Anastatia Chiurco offered the compliment "She doesn't flinch and she does it right." So TSS shines the spotlight on Alondra Perez.


Remember these two smiling faces?
Jason Davis (left) captivated us with his personal story as a youth in Sonoma and the important role that Teen Services played in his decision to pursue his college dream. Those of you who attended may recall that he closed with a little request: "Anyone out there have a contact at Pixar?" Well, the magic of Cowboy Cab did not end there. Steve Page, President and General Manager of Sonoma Raceway, asked Jason to share his inspiring story at the Grand Marshal's Banquet - a fundraiser for the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. The emcee of that event was John Lasseter.  Hmmmm...
Norma Martinez (right) also continues to smile. She received the $500 John Randall scholarship from Teen Services to help with expenses at Sonoma State this fall. Plus, she has a job this summer at TSS as our afternoon receptionist thanks to a SAY (Social Advocates for Youth) program that provides youth the experience to work in a nonprofit for eight weeks to gain work experience and learn about careers in nonprofits.
In addition, Lovin' Oven and No Name Cafe employee, Victor Escobar, so impressed the vendors at Cowboy Cab with his shining smile and customer service that he is now working at Ramekins!

The annual Mothers' Day Brunch at Sonoma Overnight Shelter (SOS) is a popular fundraiser for SOS, and for the past few years, the Lovin' Oven has provided catering services for the event. However, the relationship between our two organizations now runs deeper than this single event.

Through its Operation Bicycle (OB) program, TSS started donating bikes to SOS clients, and about five months ago, Adrian Palenchar, OB coordinator, began monthly visits to SOS to offer bike repair services. On a typical visit, Adrian will "set up shop" by 9:00 am and work until noon, servicing 6-10 bikes each time. Staff time is covered by SOS, and TSS donates all parts. During the summer, Adrian often brings along a couple of teens to help out as well... definitely a win:win situation.
Several of our TSS girls also expressed concern about the homeless in Sonoma, so it seemed only natural that Francesca Fifis, TSS Program and Volunteer Manager, would strike up a conversation with Maddie Murray, SOS Food Program Coordinator, about other SOS needs, and a new collaboration was born. Now once a week, volunteers and teens work together to prepare meals for SOS clients. Much of the food is donated by Whole Foods and SOS is able to pay for additional food items. Francesca loves the idea that teens are learning about healthy eating and are giving back to the community at the same time that nutritious meals are being prepared for SOS.

These kinds of community partnerships strengthen the programs that we offer and enable us to better serve our youth by providing them with meaningful experiences that ultimately benefit Sonoma Valley.
Photo: Adrian helps Richard get his bike in top shape



Bob and Carole Nicholas
Charles Allan Musto
Debbie Kweller
Doug Mo
Francesca Fifis and Mary Cardenas
Gary Nelson
Gary and Elsa Nelson
Hector and Sandra Gonzalez - gift in honor of Chuck and Cathy Williamson
Jim Mitchell
Jere Starks
Liz Taylor
Marcia Peterson
Mike Snowden
Paul Kenney
Rafael Vasquez
Rayne Dessayer
Sandy Pollack
Ted Hoffman
Terry Garbin
Treasure Hinchman
Veronica Vences

Organizations and Businesses
Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn/Norman Krug - gift in memory of Darlene Crump Carr
Body Best Collision Center
First Congregational Church/Women's Fellowship
FALCK/Chris Le Baudour
Hanna Boys Center/Scott Singer
Munson Design/Martin Munson
Mary's Pizza Shack
North Bay Insurance Brokers Sonoma
Organization of Electrical Engineers
Ramekins Culinary School, Events, and Inn
Silverado Construction and Demolition/Joe Capriola
Social Advocates for Youth (thanks for Norma!)
Sonoma Creamery
Soroptimist International of Sonoma Valley
Steel Geisha Designs/Anastatia Churico
SMART (Sheet Metal, Air, Rail,Transportation) Union/Keith Dias
Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival
Whole Foods Market

Kiwanis Club of Sonoma Plaza
Rotary Club of Glen Ellen and Kenwood
Sonoma Fig Foundation Fund

See what's happening on our social sites:
(707) 939-1452 |