The Boys Are Back!
Our students are officially back for the new academic year! As with the rest of the country, life at Hanna looks very different due to COVID-19. Our license as a residential treatment center
allows us to continue our services. The Hanna students will live and study on campus,
quarantined together as a unit, with safety as our top priority.  
These youth need support more than ever. Most of our students have experienced trauma in
their lives and, because of that, they need stability and support to heal and grow. They need
access to therapy, a school program that allows them to move at their own pace, and staff and teachers who are trained in trauma-informed care. 
As the year unfolds, the students will be on campus getting the services they so very much
need. If you would like to support Hanna, and the work we do to help traumatized youth and
communities, please click HERE to donate.
Alumni Spotlight: Walter “Willy” Linares
Before coming to Hanna, Walter Linares was living in a small townhouse in San Francisco with 16 people, from three different families. His father died when he was seven, leaving his mother to support Walter and his three siblings. “My mom was working 16 hour shifts to provide for us and while she was at work I was babysitting my siblings and shouldering a lot of responsibility from a very young age.”

Without supervision and left to themselves, Walter and his siblings were “running a bit wild” by their teens when a well-meaning neighbor told his mom about Hanna and encouraged her to look at it as an option. “We set up a visit to tour the campus, and I knew right away that this was the place for me.”

Along with his older brother, Walter arrived at Hanna in 1997. Up until that point he had lacked structure in his life. But at Hanna he thrived off the predictability of having a schedule - of knowing what was expected of him - and of being recognized by the teachers and staff for good behavior and academic achievements.

The structure that Hanna brought to Walter’s life was necessary – but what was a real and true gift was the ability to take part in extracurricular activities and to play sports for the first time in his life. He LOVED baseball but his mom couldn’t’ afford to sign him up, and he was never able to play. When Walter got to Hanna he made up for lost time and played every sport he could. He went out for soccer, baseball, basketball and even played on the Sonoma high school football team. He was also able to do things he had never done before and to experience the joy of skiing, fishing and camping.

"Now that he's out in the world, a husband and father himself, he's poised to make an immeasurable impact."

Walter stayed at Hanna until he graduated in 2002. He went to the Santa Rosa Junior College for his A.A., transferred over to Sacramento State to study Public Relations and Journalism, and continued to study sports management at the University of San Francisco. After graduating, he landed his dream job with the Sacramento Kings NBA team.

All of us at Hanna know that Walter was a great kid with a big heart – and now that he’s out in the world, a husband and father himself, he’s poised to make an immeasurable impact. In July, Walter put his nomination forward to run for City Council in Rohnert Park. “There’s powerful movements happening in the world, and I want to be able to make a difference, and to bring a multi-cultural lens to City Council.” Walter is driven by a need to create change in his community – and as we watch his campaign unfold, we can’t help being very proud of his accomplishments. Walter is currently also serving on the Hanna Board of Regents. He is one of our Hanna miracles!
Donor Spotlight: Una Dockery
Una Dockery has given to Hanna for more than 17 years. She has been a long-time Sonoma
resident and recently retired from a distinguished teaching career in the Sonoma Valley. She’s a staple in the community, attends chapel on the Hanna campus and has volunteered numerous times for Hanna over the years. We are so very thankful for her support.

When we asked why she gives to Hanna, she replied quite simply, it’s because she “wants to
see the Hanna boys mature into helpful men.” Hanna’s tag line ‘Turning Hurt into Hope’ got
Una’s attention years ago. She believes with staff support at Hanna comes self worth and maturity.

We could not do what we do at Hanna without the support of our donors – thank you to Una
and to our entire donor community!
Hanna in the Community
The Hanna Institute team works out in the community to help those who have experienced trauma. They work on issues like advocating for and instilling trauma-informed and equity-focused practices into our educational systems – and they partner with nonprofits in the community who are aligned with our commitment to change the life trajectory of kids, families and communities.

ACEs Aware
In June 2020, the Office of the California Surgeon General awarded Hanna $275,000 to provide trainings to further awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress amongst Medi-cal providers and the general public. Acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 and the racial injustices that are prime triggers for toxic stress, California Surgeon General Nadine Burke-Harris expressed her belief that 'a trauma-informed health care workforce is vital to helping (California) heal." 

Hanna Institute launched an 18-month study, “Finding Positive Health in ‘Fortalezas’ and ‘Comunidad’: A Case Study of Latinos/X in Sonoma Valley” in 2018. Using a community-
engaged research team, the study explored the unique assets, power and resilience of the Latino/x population that enables it to cope with and overcome stress, including those exacerbated by structural inequalities. The study focuses on community, political, spiritual, cultural and physical resources perceived within the Latino/x community to be important contributors to their health and well-being. The results of the first phase of the study were a set of asset maps and data-supported recommendations to help amplify the “fortalezas.” Hanna Institute is currently exploring partnerships for a second phase of this project.

Click HERE to view in English

Click HERE to view in Spanish

This email is intended for Hanna Boys Center Donors and Supporters.