- We have a new website! We are excited to share our new website with you at http://teenservicessonoma.org/. You will see a lot of changes and a lot to smile about.
- Teen Group Space: Teen Services has a new Facebook GROUP page - a forum for communicating with teens regarding our events and happenings. If you are a teen and interested in joining, please contact Adrian Palenchar - email@example.com.
- Job Opportunities: Teen Services is accepting applications for Coordinators for the Teen Center and for Lovin' Oven. Contact Cristin Felso for more information.
A LETTER FROM CRISTIN:
As we start the new year, there is a fresh level of excitement and momentum at Teen Services. The No Name Café has never been so popular; our last Ready to Work cohort was extremely impressive; both the Lovin' Oven and Operation Bicycle have plans for expansion; and we will be building on the success of our welding class to kick off a Trades Career Pathway.
We have invested in new technologies for point of sale for all Teen Services microbusinesses, which not only increases the efficiency of our bookkeeping, but also means that our teens are using more current technology.
We have new board members, new staff, and new volunteers, and with them we gain renewed energies - even the building is getting a makeover in the upcoming months. AND we have launched our new website! Please visit
and visit frequently for up-to-date news about Teen Services.
We hope to see you often in 2017. We are sure you will like what you see!
AND THEN THERE WERE COOKIES!!!
The cookie volunteers: Brigitte, Stephanie, and Jody
With the success of the Holiday Pie Sale, there were suddenly cries for cookies - the perfect holiday gift! Francesca Fifis, TSS Program and Volunteer Manager, had no problem finding the perfect recipes nor the helping hands. So, with a lot of laughter, blending, grinding, measuring, melting, baking, and decorating, 28 volunteers produced 3,000 cookies!
Many thanks go to the cooks-for-the-day: Chris Argenziano, Lorraine Ashton, Susan Baldwin, Steve Cohen, William Cooper, Donna Dambach, Brigitte Doneaux, Julie Harkens, Jensen Hedley, Debby Kweller, Jody Leeds, Carmen Lopez, Pat Meier-Johnson, Jeanne Montague, Maureen O'Neil, Adrian Palenchar, Marcia Petersen, Spencer Phillips, Sydney Randazzo, Linda Ransom, Jose Rojas, Alejandra Ruiz, Lizbet Ruiz, Prisila Ruiz, Judy Scotchmoor, Randi Sherman, Stephanie Stubbs, and Eva Yearsley.
ANOTHER READY TO WORK COHORT GRADUATES
The graduating Fall 2016 RTW Cohort along with their instructors and interviewers
teens started the RTW program at Sonoma Valley High School and twenty have now completed the full course. The classroom atmosphere has been invigorating and lively, and the teens have been highly engaged throughout. They were definitely prepared for the mock interviews held on December 15th (despite the torrential rain storm), and those doing the interviewing were impressed by the high level of confidence and professionalism shown by the teens.
Lily Raca is interviewed by Allison Kilmer, Uppercase Tea LLC
The mock interviews were the last in a series of workshops during which the teens explored career options, learned about employee behavior and employer expectations, money management, building a resume, the application and hiring process, and interview techniques.
With the completion of the course, our "graduates" received their Ready to Work Certificates and enjoyed some celebratory cake with their friends, instructors, and local employers.
Congratulations to our graduates:
Kayla Alcorcha, Marco Alonzo-Mena, Lilli R.Baca, Jeremy Ceglia, Monserrat Escobar, Victor Escobar, Mary Gallo, Kurtis McIntyre, Riki Marechal, Victoria Mendez, Monzerrat Morales, Miriam Nolazco, Jocelyn Paredes, Alondra Perez, Grace Phillips, Lily Raka, Sydnie Raup, Jose Rojas, Victoria Santos, and Lyllie Singletary
And a special thanks to our interviewers:
Sondra Bernstein, The Girl and the Fig; Dino Diguilio, Body Best Automotive; Zac Weinberg, The Cottage Inn and Spa; Lorna Sheridan, Sonoma Index Tribune; Allison Kilmer, Uppercase Tea LLC; Celina Briggs, Sonoma Ecology Center; Susan Huggis, Starbucks; and Eileen Keister, Farmers Insurance. Thanks also to all of the consistent volunteer support and to Sonoma Valley High and their Work-based Learning Coordinator Wendy Swanson for teaching the Interviewing Workshop.
ANGELICA VALENCIA JOINS OUR TEAM
A joint celebration between staff of TSS and SAY
For the past five years, we have been fortunate to partner with SAY (Social Advocates for Youth) on a variety of projects. In December, staff from both TSS and SAY got together to celebrate our partnership and to meet Angelica Valencia.
Angelica is joining our team as a Bilingual Case Manager from SAY. As such, she will be offering special support services for disconnected and at-risk youth who are part of our Teen Services community. Angelica has two kids of her own and on the weekends, you can find her on the soccer field cheering on her little soccer stars!She can be reached by email at
MEET OUR ALUM: JASON DAVIS
Jason Davis Age 23
"Teen Services gave me a space and endless opportunities to define my identity and shape my future. The experience you have with them is incredibly rewarding, enriching, and precious."
Graduated Magna Cum Laude from UC Santa Cruz in Business and Economics. Now working in Digital Marketing at Plantronics.
Next month, we will feature another of our amazing alums.
DEBBY KWELLER RETURNS TO THE BOARD
With a love of cooking and fine wine, Debby and Bob Kweller moved to Sonoma Valley in 2001. Debby retired in 2013 as a senior executive in the disability insurance and financial management industry. Having led several national nonprofit boards during her career, she naturally transitioned to nonprofits in Sonoma. Debby joined Impact100 Sonoma in 2011 to network with other women and support greater collaboration among nonprofits. She became familiar with Sonoma Valley Teen Services. She joined the board in 2013-15 and looks forward to returning.
A SALUTE TO A LONG-TIME VOLUNTEER: JENNY SIMPSON RANDAL
The name Randall is an important part of TSS early history as John was the founder of Operation Youth - one of two organizations (the other being Valley of the Moon/El Nido Teen Center) that merged to eventually become Teen Services Sonoma. But here, we salute his wife, Jenny, who was there at the start (1997) working alongside her late husband, running the various entities within Operation Youth. She particularly enjoyed helping out at The Shop, the teen event center that provided a venue for many of the talented Valley musicians. She also volunteered to work with teens at the No Name Café and through Art Wednesday and the Homework Club.
After the merger, Jenny remained involved and helped install and maintain our perimeter garden, adapting the raised beds to food or landscape according to the needs of the Teen Center and planting new flowers each spring to keep the garden looking fresh and colorful. More recently, Jenny worked with teens of the Operation Bicycle program to install "bike art," using old bike parts and attaching them to the retaining wall to give the parking lot a fun and funky vibe.
And if all this were not enough, a few years ago, Jenny bought the Teen Center a wonderful gift of a washer and dryer allowing us to launder our No Name Café and Lovin' Oven linens, aprons, and other uniforms at the Center instead of having staff haul them home to wash.
After nearly 20 years of volunteering, Jenny is ready to move on, but we couldn't let her go without a special mention. Jenny, you have been a true champion to the teens of Sonoma Valley and to Teen Services Sonoma. We are honored to have your involvement for so many years and cannot thank you enough for all you have done.
TSS HOLDS VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION
On December 8th, more than 20 "future volunteers" gathered at the No Name Café to hear from Teen Services staff about various ways to become involved. Tutors and chaperones are needed at the Teen Center and the café, cooks in the kitchen, instructors and interviewers to support Ready to Work... and those are just for starters. If you are interested in finding out more about TSS volunteer opportunities,
, or contact Francesca Fifis, Program and Volunteer Manager -
HOW CAN YOU HELP? INVEST IN OUR TEENS
In 2007, Jason Davis hung a piece of art up in the No Name Café on the Sonoma Valley High School campus. As Jason described to us, the café "became my home away from home for 3+ years... I mostly worked on my own art projects, but I also worked on community art projects, put on art shows, volunteered at Teen Services events, tutored students, and just hung out.
[Through Teen Services], I learned how to be creative, how to teach, and how to be OK with being a bit weird... They care so much about every person who wants to be a part of their programs, and the experiences you have with [Teen Services] are incredibly rewarding, enriching, and precious."
Jason is one of hundreds of teens who have benefitted from Teen Services Sonoma. Because of your generosity, 11 young people were able to attend a 42-hour summer welding program, 91 earned Work Readiness Certification, 24 received assistance resulting in employment at local businesses, 21 obtained jobs on their own after completing our program, and another 21 went off to post-secondary education. The Teen Center received 4134 visits from teens and signed up 150 new members. These are just some of our successes in 2016.
Please consider a generous donation to kick off 2017 and support Teen Services Sonoma to ensure that teens like Jason are able to follow their personal journeys.
THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS!
Barry and Ali Ansell
Chris Argenziano and Donna Dambach
Simon and Kimberly Blattner
Isabelle and Richard Chesley
John and Sara Donnelly
Francesca Fifis and Mary Cardenas
Susan and Joseph Gorin
Jean Hopeman Chambers and Dave Chambers
Audrey and Ronald Chapman
Rodney Jackson and Darla Hillard
Mary Clark Janis
Joseph and Carole LaTorre
Renea and Damien Magnani
Janice Mattison and Alan R Durfee
Taylor McCandless and Tom Conlon
Carole and Don McClain
Mirja and John Muncy
Elsa and Gary Nelson
Jim and Barbara Nelson
Diana Sanson and Ben Compton
Judy Scotchmoor and Roland Gangloff
Catherine Wade Shepard
Berna-Denise and Rey Silver
First Congregational Church
Rotary Club of Glen Ellen Kenwood
Sanderson Family Foundation/Mabeth and Bill Sanderson
Sonoma Community Foundation
Speedway Children's Charity
Wells Fargo Foundation
Women's Fellowship/First Congregational Church
Sabrina Pellegrini/Fitness Revolution Sonoma
Doug Hanford/Hanford ARC
Nelson Family of Companies
Diane and Rich Merlo/ North Counties Drywall Inc.
Mark Warren/Warren Construction and Roofing Inc.
Save the Date for Cowboy Cab!
June 3rd, 2017
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