• Ready to Work: The Spring 2017 Ready to Work Sessions for Sonoma Valley High School begin on March 30th. Intake interviews will be conducted at the Teen Center on March 14th and at the No Name Café on March 16th. For the full schedule, click here. For more information and to register, contact Francesca Fifis at or 707-939-1452.
  • Math, Science and Homework Help: Teens needing help with math (algebra through calculus) and science including physics and chemistry can take advantage of tutorial help every Wednesday from 6:00-7:00 pm at the Teen Center. The Homework Club returns to the No Name Café every Monday at 3:00 pm, beginning on March 6th.
  • Transcendence Music Theatre: Thanks to Doug Mo and Stephen Stubbins, ten free tickets and transportation are available for youth, ages 13-19, to attend a special Transcendence performance on Saturday, March 11th at 7:30 pm at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa. Youth who attend will be asked to provide a short statement of their experience. There are two tickets left, if you know a youth who would like to join us, contact Francesca Fifis at or 707-939-1452.
A LETTER FROM CRISTIN  with smiles from my new office!

I am thrilled to announce that Teen Services will be fully staffed as of March 6 th !  As announced last month, Gabby Petersen, our new Teen Center Coordinator, will be joining us at that time, and we will also have an accountant on staff - Merlise Wan (see below). Now with all positions filled, we will be moving full steam ahead into the spring with new and expanded program activities.

Speaking of new, we will soon be holding an open house to see our newly remodeled Teen Center - new office space and reception area, fresh paint, new furniture, and an updated look all around. And we could not have done it without the help of so many amazing friends: Westamerica Bank, Sonoma Paint Center, Sonoma Rugworks, contractor Jason McClure, electrical contractor Dennis Jamarck, handyman Paul Felso ("The Fixer"), and also some of our great teens who rolled up their sleeves to help out with the painting: Miguel Mendoza, Luis Garcia, Raul Sanchez, and Chris Tose. Additional thanks to Tom Sours, Susan Baldwin, and Karen Powers for donating to our wish list.

We also want to acknowledge the incredible, ongoing generosity of Cathy and Chuck Williamson who offered us a gift of $25,000 in general operating support to help us with all of the above and more - a huge, heartfelt thanks to them, and to all of you, for believing in the mission and leadership of Teen Services Sonoma. 

In appreciation,


Lovin' Oven Coordinator Mackenzie Finch in her new office

There is a lot of activity on the food front at two of our micro-businesses: the Lovin' Oven (located at the Teen Center) and the No Name Café (located at Sonoma Valley High School).  Mackenzie (Kenzie) Finch, our new Lovin' Oven Coordinator, arrived just in time.

Body Best Collision Center has hired the Lovin' Oven to make 150 cookies each week to share with their customers, and new foods are being prepared for offer at the No Name Café. Kenzie is also starting healthy eating classes at the Teen Center.

A food handling and service etiquette course will be offered at the Teen Center during the last, full week of each month. There is a fee of $25 for materials. Teens interested in landing a job in the culinary and hospitality field or wanting to work at the Lovin' Oven are encouraged to take these two fundamental courses. 


In our January newsletter , we mentioned our ongoing partnership with SAY ( Social Advocates for Youth ) that builds on the strengths of our two organizations.

For instance, Teen Services Sonoma provided work readiness training for Sonoma Valley Teens who are interested in being part of the work crews that SAY offers to local parks. Several of our teens helped to maintain trails and clean out brush and other debris at Jack London State Park, while adding to their job skills, earning some money, and learning how to use tools effectively and work cooperatively. They also learn about environmental careers.

In turn, we benefit from the expertise that SAY has to offer. Starting this month, a new bilingual case manager from SAY, Joaquin Zamudio Garcia (left photo), will be co-located at the Teen Center to work with those vulnerable youth, ages 16-24, often described as "disconnected." These include young people who are housing insecure, have dropped out of high school, are unemployed, or pregnant or parenting, and needing extra support to gain stability in their lives.

These kinds of community partnerships strengthen the programs that we offer and enable us to better serve our youth.

The repair team at Operation Bicycle

Statistics for a typical month for Operation Bicycle equals more than 50 teens involved and 36 members of the public served, plus we now have two seniors at Sonoma Valley High School working on bike-related senior projects as well as a senior from Creekside doing a service learning project. But there is a lot more going on than just bikes repaired and sold.

Teens not only learn bike maintenance and repair and customer service, they discover how it feels to give back. In January, we fixed up two bikes and donated them to homeless customers - one who asked for a bike and one who just received a surprise gift. It made his day. We also donated a wheel and a tire to another man who didn't have the means to pay. Operation Bicycle brings smiles for a lot of reasons .

Merlise Wan
joins Teen Services Sonoma as our new accountant. She was born and raised in Singapore, but has lived in the United States for over 20 years. She lived in Nevada and Utah before moving to California in 2015. Merlise has extensive experience in accounting with manufacturing, retail, distribution and nonprofit organizations. She has two teenagers at home and loves both the vision and mission of Teen Services Sonoma. Once a month, she and her teens volunteer serving dinner at a downtown Santa Rosa Catholic Church.

Mike Barnes                         Age 27
"Teen Services taught us that we were more than what the community perceived us to be and that we were capable of being  organized and responsible beyond the classroom."

Mike is a successful graphic designer currently enrolled at Humboldt State University, studying Mass Media Communications.

To read more about Mike, click here .
Next month, we will feature another of our amazing alums.

Thanks so much to those who responded to our request last month for items to "spruce up" the Teen Center. We received an area rug, a large ottoman/coffee table, and a club chair.  

But we still need a few items. If you can help us with any of the items below or make a general donation to cover the purchase price, we would be very grateful.

The Wish List

13x16 Area Rug $235
Vinyl/Bonded Leather Sofa $500
Vinyl/Bonded Leather Love Seat $400
TV Hutch/Entertainment Center $350
Small L-shaped Desk $200
Metallic Table Lamp $45
Floor Lamp with Glossy Noir Stem $90
Table Lamp, 2-Pack $110
Table Lamp, 2-Pack $80
2 Utility Cart/Free Standing Cabinets for Bathrooms $125 each
Small Safe $80


Susan Baldwin
Luis Garcia
Gary and Elsa Nelson
Karen Powers
Tom Sours
Chris Tose
Cathy and Chuck Williamson

Westamerica Bank

A special thank you to the people and businesses who are donating services and supplies to our building remodel!
Dennis Jamarck Electrical Contracting
Golden State Lumber
Jason McClure Contracting Company
Optima Building Solutions
Sonoma Paint Center
Sonoma Raceway
Westamerica Bank
Save the Date for Cowboy Cab!

June 3rd, 2017
See what's happening on our social sites:
(707) 939-1452 |