• North Bay Leadership Council honors Teen Services for empowering the Latino community (see details in Cristin's letter.)  
  • It's pie time! Don't forget to order your Lovin' Oven Holiday Pies - Apple cranberry crumble, Pumpkin, and Pecan - $20 each. Click here for more info!
  • Shopping can make a difference - Now you can sign up for eScrip at Lucky's markets, Sonoma and Glen Ellen Village Markets. Also sign up with Amazon SmileSelect Teen Services Sonoma and your eligible purchases will provide a donation to our organization.
  • Volunteers needed at the Teen Center and No Name Café (see details below)

I was recently greeted with the amazing news that Teen Services Sonoma has been selected by the North Bay Leadership Council (NBLC) to receive one of the 2017 Leaders of the North Bay Awards for our efforts in empowering the Latino community. This honor would not be possible without the love, energy, and expertise of so many amazing people who have been part of our history and our success. I will be accepting this award next month with two of them: Rebecca Hermosillo and Jean Hopeman.

Rebecca (now with Congressman Mike Thompson's office) was the Executive Director of the Valley of the Moon Teen Center (originally called El Nido) in 1995. She recognized the need for a safe haven for Latino youth - a place where boundaries and tough love were coupled with respect and acceptance to help teens make good choices. She instilled a sense of family with her nightly dinners at the center and guided four young Latinas in the formation of the Lovin' Oven - TSS's first micro-business.

Jean combined a successful banking career with a Spanish language and literature major and a master's degree in Latin American Affairs, and she became our rock. Seeing that our teens needed to make money but did not know how to get a job, she started conversations with local employers to see what they were looking for in employees. This was the first step toward what we now call our Ready to Work program. Serving on our board, Jean was also responsible for writing grants to fund the organization.

It will be wonderful to share this award with them both. Their spirits linger on at Teen Services. 

Many thanks to our forever friend, Steve Page, President of Sonoma Raceway, for nominating us and to NBLC for selecting us for this honor. It belongs to many - especially our teens.

In appreciation,

Yesterday, we kicked off our Fall 2017 Work Readiness workshops at Sonoma Valley High School. As a key component of our Ready to Work program, these free workshops prepare Sonoma Valley youth for successful employment, covering topics ranging from general employment behavior to advanced networking skills. But each year, we tweak the classes a bit in response to input from student alums, from staff who are constantly evaluating student impact, and from advisors whose expertise help guide the program.
From the very beginning, numerous people have contributed to and influenced the course structure - Osias Encarnacion, Jean Hopeman, Nancy Dome, Jodie Taylor, and Chris Argenziano among others - and we have received invaluable input from the business community who ultimately hire the graduates from our program. As a result, each year RTW is fine-tuned and this year is no exception.

Our staff have been working with a highly talented advisory team composed of two board members - Debbie Kweller and Barry Ansell, plus Ted Hoffman, Managing Director of Alliance Ventures. Together, they have added a new energy to the program plus a few enhancements:
  • TSS hosted an informational luncheon with SVHS and Creekside teachers, providing details about the workshops.
  • This year, Ready to Work (RTW) alums conducted intake interviews with interested teens, sharing their own personal experiences and clarifying expectations and outcomes (photo to right).
  • At the opening session, local employers provided students with an understanding of what employers are really looking for in an employee. In keeping with the interactive nature of these workshops, students will participate in a "good employee/bad employee" exercise.
  • Graduating teens will be guided through the job search and placement process by a trained personal TSS Job Coach.
Teens who complete all five workshops will receive a Ready to Work Certificate at a special graduation celebration on November 9th at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. They will also be  ready to move on to a work-based learning opportunity at one of Teen Services' micro-businesses (Lovin' Oven, No Name Café, Operation Bicycle) or to part- or full-time jobs in the community.

Lovin' Oven 
Amy Hunsberger, from Amy's Cookie Jar, graciously donated her time and supplies once again to show the Lovin' Oven teens the skills of using royal icing to decorate. The homecoming theme cookie is the second type that she has shown the teens, and the finished edible works of art sold out immediately at the No Name Café. 

Beyond cooking for the café, the Teen Center kitchen has been super busy this past month thanks to all of the requests for Lovin' Oven services including: our weekly meal for clients at Sonoma Overnight Support, appetizers for the Sonoma Community Foundation, sandwiches for the artists participating in Sonoma Plein Aire, a breakfast at La Luz, and catering the Seeds of Learning gala.

Café gardeners - left to right: Amanda Horn, Raquel Wirth, Lyllie Singletary, Diego Flores, Nick Diaz

No Name Café
Sales at the No Name Café located at Sonoma Valley High School hit an all-time high thanks to new food items, the efficient point-of-sales Square system, and our new refrigerator. The new garden out in front of the café is an added bonus. Our thanks again to Cathy Williamson, Sonoma Mission Garden and Soils Plus.
Operation Bicycle
Sales and services have increased here as well - so much so that OB Coordinator Adrian Palenchar reports that he is running out of inventory, but he has been able to hire two more teens to help refurbish used bikes and keep up with business. The teens repaired nine bikes for SOS and donated two bikes - one to La Luz and one to SOS. In addition, this has been the most successful year for the valet and repair service offered every Tuesday at the Farmers' Market - 40-50 valet customers each week!
With all this increase in demand, Adrian is now working with two SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) volunteers - Ray Snipes and Fran Meininger - to develop a business plan in preparation for a major expansion of Operation Bicycle, which is literally on the move! Stay tuned for more details.

Thank you to Keysight Technologies
Engineers from Keysight Technologies in Santa Rosa joined TSS Staff for a Day of Caring project last week. The engineers pulled everything out of the basement and Francesca and Joelynn helped sort what to  keep, toss, or donate. It is worth a trip to our basement just to see the new organization and increased space!
An Ice Cream Social
Our Girls' Group kicked off at Adele Middle School with ice cream and pizza! Funded by the Soroptimists of Sonoma, the group is for the girls and by the girls with weekly meetings and activities as diverse as how to change a tire, cooking, meditation, and selected excursions. If you know an 8th grader who may be interested, contact Gabby Petersen at
Volunteers Needed
Here are two great opportunities to get to know our teens better and to support our programs.  To sign up for a two-hour shift (or more) of your choosing or for more information, contact our Volunteer Manager, Francesca Fifis at or  707-939-1452.
  • At the Teen Center: To provide an adult presence, chat with the kids, and oversee activities. If you have a cool idea of an activity of your own, let us know!!  Mondays thru Fridays, 3:00-7:00 pm
  • At the No Name Café: Help set up the café for lunch, stock inventory, bake cookies, and connect with the kids! Mondays thru Fridays, 9:30 am-1:30 pm. 
ServSafe and Service Etiquette Class 
Learn skills to work in the food industry! Last Wednesday of the month!  October 25 and November 29, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm.  Classes held at Teen Services Sonoma.  To register please call 707-939-1452. 


From video, to photo, to print, Pat and Russ have volunteered their time and expertise to bring the heart and soul of Teen Services to the community in which we work. They not only created  an amazing video about Teen Services as part of an Impact100 project, they also are always there when we need a promotional item or concept. Recently we were brainstorming ideas for an ad opportunity donated to us, and there was Pat sketching out what she was hearing. Within minutes the ad was created and brought to life by Russ's photography and their interactions with our teens.

We are pleased to be able to honor Pat and Russ as our 2017 Sonoma Valley Fund Star Volunteers. Many thanks to both of them!

Barmore Family
Betty Ariza
Brooke Cheeseman
Chris Woodcock
Fran Meininger
Gary Peter
Jean Hopeman
Jere Starks
Marsha Johnson
Mary and Buck Marcussen
Mike Souza
Phoebe Brookbank
Ray Snipes
Rebecca Herrmosillo
Sandy Drew
Steve Cohen
Steve Page
Sure Wortman
Ted and Wendy Hoffman
Terri Barton
Tom Sours

Organizations and Businesses
Benziger Winery
Crown Cleaners/Kanak Raj
First Congregational Church
Keysight Technologies - "The High Rollers": Mike McCoy, Josh Borg, Allen Bruno, Bill Gibson, Jooyoung Wang, Allen Zhao, Zhengrong Zhou
North Bay Leadership Council
Sonoma United Methodist Church
Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market Committee and Chris Welch
State Farm Insurance/Anea Kamahele
Sushinoma/Jacob Talbert
The Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance/Tina Baldry
Women's Fellowship First Congregational Church
See what's happening on our social sites:
(707) 939-1452 |
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