• Job Coaches needed:  Want to help a young person get off to a great start in life? Become a Job Coach! Attend our next training Thursday, February 28th, 10:00 am at the Teen Center. For questions, contact Francesca Fifis, or 707-939-1452.
  • Ready to Work: Spring semester Work Readiness courses at Sonoma Valley and Creekside High Schools start on March 7th. Graduation will be held on April 12th.
  • Cowboy Cab 2019: Mark your calendars now - Sunday, June 9th, 4:00 - 8:00 pm -- The Barn at Tyge Williams Cellars, Cornerstone.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm not exactly the warm and fuzzy type. I tend to put my faith in lists, calendar reminders, spreadsheets and the like. However, in this month surrounded by the icons of love - hearts, flowers, white teddy bears with balloons, and chocolate - I found that I've fallen in love with Teen Services! I love seeing the smiles on the teens' faces as they pull that perfect batch of cookies out of the oven, witnessing the completion of a new bike mechanic fixing a broken bike, and sharing that "WOW!" moment when a teen finds out they landed that first job.
Thank you to all our supporters who provide funds, volunteer time, or donate goods to help us fulfill our mission here at Teen Services Sonoma. Maybe I'm more like Olaf (Disney reference) than I thought, and I really do like warm hugs!
Wishing you all the love of family and friends for this month and always.

With thanks,


Left to right: Police Chief Lt. Orlando Rodriguez; Adrian Palenchar; Mayor Amy Harrington; City Council member, Logan Harvey

If there is such a thing as a "bicycle happening," Teen Services' Operation Bicycle just had one!

Following the ribbon cutting, Executive Director Becky Jo Peterson  thanked  everyone for coming and then turned to Adrian Palenchar, Operation Bicycle Manager, for a few words. With an enormous grin, Adrian was clearly thrilled with the event and the opportunity to share the new shop. "This has always been my dream, but no dream comes true without a lot of help from a lot of people. Operation Bicycle works because the whole community is behind it."

The community spirit was certainly present today. There were people who just dropped by, but the majority of folks were those who have known Adrian and Operation Bicycle (OB) for several months, several years, or from its very beginning. Jean Hopeman and Art Fichtenberg recalled when OB was just an idea of how to use the old basement below the Teen Center, and as Art looked around at the new shop, he described it as "heart-warming" to see how that vision has turned into such a thriving social enterprise. Also attending were Adrian's kindergarten teacher, Tom Sours who volunteers at OB, parents of teens who have learned about bike mechanics, old and new customers who have experienced the great service (and prices) that OB offers, alums from Teen Services programs, and our youngest customer who went home with a brand-new bike for his upcoming 3rd birthday.
Several teens were on hand - both as volunteers and because the bike shop is where they hang out. Ulysses (Uli) Mata, age 13, is one of the teens who frequents the bike shop. "Adrian taught me how to know my bike and how to take care of it. Now I have my Bike Mechanics Certificate. I like being here because I don't get bored and I want to help this guy (pointing to Adrian)."
For additional photos from the event,    click here.

As part of our Ready to Work program, Teen Services has initiated monthly Career Exploration Nights connecting young people with local professionals over pizza and conversation. Each evening includes interactive presentations by two to three local professionals from a particular industry/career who share their personal pathways, respond to questions and encourage next steps.  
A diverse set of speakers has been identified from a variety of industries including: hospitality, culinary/food service, aviation, technology, health/medical, landscape/environmental engineering, and cosmetology. Take a closer look at our first two events:

Many thanks to Sondra Bernstein, the girl and the fig; Nima Sherpa, Sonoma Grille; Osias Encarnacion, Chief of Staff at Kaiser Permanente; and Diego Latorre, Keysight Technologies in Santa Rosa, for their presentations and conversations.


Soroptimists of Sonoma Valley present a sponsorship check to support the TSS Girls Group

The Girls Group is back at Teen Services Sonoma! This month we hosted a gathering of middle school girls and their parents to welcome them and launch the 2019 program of fun activities, hang out, bonding, learning about how to find their place in the world.  This program is sponsored by the Soroptimists of Sonoma Valley and leans heavily on their Dream it, Be it curriculum.  If you have question, please contact Teen Center Coordinator, Norma Martinez at  or 707.939.1452.

Philanthropy and fashion may seem like an odd combination, but not to Joelle Smith (photo left). While she was working in the fashion and tech industry as a stylist for Stitch Fix in San Francisco, she took advantage of every opportunity to volunteer for organizations such as Dress for Success, the Samaritan House and organized fundraisers that donated clothing to local organizations in the Bay Area. 
Now Joelle has found a new way to give back. SHENOMA is a project that came to life when she invited 20 talented women to join forces and see what they could accomplish together. Many of their philanthropic activities have a clothing theme including providing clothes for Teen Services' Ready to Work program. Job interviews are an important part of our Work Readiness course and thanks to Joelle, students are able to "shop" the SHE NOMA pop up boutique to find just the right outfit for a good first impression and a boost of confidence.
SHENOMA is currently working on a project benefiting Cancer Support Sonoma, and t heir next event will provide a Prom Pop Up Boutique, Thursday March 14 at the Community Center, for high school girls who can choose something special free of charge thanks to the generous sponsors, Bon Marche and The Republic of Thrift.
We are so grateful for SHENOMA's support to our teens. If you are interested in learning more about this amazing group, feel free to contact Joelle at .

We are pleased to welcome two new board members to our Board of Directors. Marney  Malik joins the board as treasurer and Sydney Randazzo will serve as chair of communications. 

Marney retired in 2015 from a 30+ year career with the Greenbrier Companies, Inc. a NYSE traded company, and was one of its founders. She served in various roles including Controller, Risk Manager, VP Administration and Executive Officer. While in Oregon, she served as Treasurer for Easter Seals and was a student mentor for Marathon Education Partners. After retirement, she and her husband moved to Sonoma in 2016 to be near family. Marney became active in Impact100 Sonoma and currently serves as its Treasurer. She became interested in the mission of Teen Services after volunteering as a job coach.

Sydney began her professional career in advance planning for local, state and national political campaigns prior to 10 years in the advertising industry. She eventually opened her own consulting business specializing in media planning working with clients such as Supercuts and Freixenet-- including 25+ years with their Sonoma subsidiary Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards. In Marin, she served six years on the board of To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation. After moving to Glen Ellen with her husband, Sydney became a member of Impact100 and served as President of the Board for two years.  Contributing her marketing skills, she worked on the Communications Committee for Teen Services.   
Lorraine Ashton, Past President, has cycled off of the TSS Board to join the board at Social Advocates for Youth. We cannot thank her enough for her dedicated energies and leadership. Happily, she remains with us serving on our Fund Development Committee.

In addition to the gift from Soroptimists of Sonoma Valley (see above), we are pleased to announce the receipt of three grants in support of our Ready to Work program: a $4,500 from the Rose Marie Piper Foundation, $15,000 from the Jonas Family Foundation, and $30,000 from the Vadasz Family Foundation. We also received a $2,000 Community Investment Grant from the County of Sonoma -  Board of Supervisors to support our 2019 Cowboy Cab. In addition, the Glen Ellen/Kenwood Rotary purchased several items for the new Operation Bicycle location including a new mini-fridge and a water dispenser.
We are so grateful for this generous support!

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