ANNOUNCEMENTS:
  • Cowboy Cab 2018 -  SUNDAY, June 10th at The Barn at Tyge William Cellars, Cornerstone, Early-bird tickets and sponsorship material available HERE
A LETTER FROM CRISTIN 

2018 is already proving to be quite a year for Teen Services Sonoma! First of all, yes - Cowboy Cab is really moving to a Sunday - June 10th at Cornerstone! This is an unexpected consequence of postponed bookings from the October fires, but we are really looking forward to it, and you will definitely NOT be disappointed.
 
Next, Operation Bicycle is moving! No more ducking under the rafters for Adrian and his teens and customers. OB will be moving into the new Valletti Plaza within a few weeks. We are extremely grateful to Marco Valletti for offering us an introductory rent-free contract providing time to allow the business to expand to meet costs.
 
Ready to Work is also expanding in scope. This year, RTW will roll out a series of new services that will support teens and young adults from that first entry-level job experience through to a specific career of interest. More details are provided below and on our newly refurbished website -   teenservicessonoma.org.
 
We are so proud of all that "our teens" are achieving and excited by new opportunities to support them further. Thank you for helping us make that happen.


In appreciation,
READY TO WORK IN 2018


Ready to Work has evolved into a unique multi-tiered job readiness and career exploration program for Sonoma Valley teens and young adults. In 2018 several services are being added that will support teens and young adults from that first entry-level job experience through to a specific career of interest.
 
We are adding an Advanced Work Readiness course that focuses on job retention and advancement, customer service, networking, and communication. Graduates from both the basic and advanced workshops will continue to benefit from a Job Coach to help identify appropriate work experience opportunities.
 
Also new is the initiation of a Career Fair at which professionals share insights into their fields of expertise, including: technology, healthcare, construction, engineering, marketing and communications, environmental careers, and more.
 
We are increasing opportunities for industry-specific trainings and career-specific options including job shadowing and coaching. Career Coaches will meet with a group of teens and young adults to talk about industry-specific job trends, job opportunities, and college and education requirements. They will set up tours, job shadowing, and networking opportunities.
 
Click here for more details about Ready to Work in 2018 and stayed tuned for additional updates.
A CLOSER LOOK AT OPERATION BICYCLE

Adrian assists customers of Operation Bicycle.

Operation Bicycle is a wonderful and needed program - not only because it teaches youth practical and marketable skills, but [it] provides teens a chance to interact with (their own) community in professional and friendly ways.  This program is really a win-win for all involved. 

Those were the words of Pastor Matthew Pearson, Sonoma United Methodist Church, following a recent neighborhood bike repair day in the church parking lot during which OB Coordinator Adrian Palenchar and his teen assistants offered tune-ups, repairs, and helpful advice.

Compliments also come from the many customers who frequent the Teen Services' basement that houses Operation Bicycle or those who take advantage of the bicycle valet and repair service offered at the Valley of the Moon Farmers' market... or from the homeless clients of Sonoma Overnight Support where Adrian visits once a month bringing the tools and expertise needed to repair (and sometimes replace) the bicycles the clients use as necessary transportation.

Operation Bicycle's Success Keeps Growing
Sales and service at the shop have increased allowing Adrian to hire three more teens to help refurbish used bikes and keep up with business. With this increased 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 - and the move to Valletti Plaza!

Adrian is "thrilled about the move. It never really slows down here in the basement, but now visibility is going to go through the roof!" OB hours will increase and there will be increased job opportunities for teens. Though Adrian describes the change as moving "from a cozy place to a real place," he wants to maintain a space where teens feel comfortable and there will be more space for classes. "Besides there is an ice cream shop next door!"


The Impact of Operation Bicycle
Adrian sees OB as an opportunity for teens to not only learn about mechanics and how to fix their own bikes, but also a place to gain confidence, patience, and pride in what they are doing. He has a couple of other goals. "I hope teens think about the environment and take pride in re-purposing something as opposed to throwing it away. And hopefully they see that the way to run a business is not to always chase the dollar but to treat everyone with dignity and respect - treat people equally."

Luis Garcia started coming to the Teen Center when he was 13. Now a senior at Sonoma Valley High school, he spends a lot of time down in the basement working with Adrian on his Senior Project - motorizing a refurbished bike. Luis shared his thoughts: "When you pass by here, you don't really see what this place does for people... [It] opens your eyes to care for others and help out others who might not have people who help or care. I can go on and on about the Teen Center, for real. [Teens] come here just to do hours and they come out a lot better."
On a last note: When asked to describe Adrian, one SOS client simply said "He puts the bike in bicycle."

On a last note: When asked to describe Adrian, one SOS client simply said "He puts the bike in bicycle." Is repeated at the end.  Please delete first occurrence.
MEET SIMON SCHWARTZ-CUTLER
 
Simon has been working at Operation Bicycle for nearly three years. He and Adrian first connected over a snapped front brake cable that Simon was trying to fix in the Whole Foods parking lot - Adrian offered a helping hand. He also told him about Operation Bicycle and that was that.
 
Simon began as a volunteer, enrolled in the Ready to Work program, and within a couple of months, he was hired as Adrian's assistant and dove into fixing bikes. He describes Adrian as an amazing mentor and very patient. With encouragement from Teen Services, Simon attended the United Bicycle Institute - a technical school in Ashland - for a two-week course in 2016, where he received a Professional Repair and Shop Operation Certification. "That really increased my skills and confidence. Incredibly cool. I learned things that I didn't even know were out there to learn."
 
There is a poetic/philosophical side to Simon as well. He talks about the synergy between man and machine. He also sees the impact of Operation Bicycle and Teen Services. "We help people have transportation when they otherwise wouldn't. We give teens an enormous jump in self-reliance and confidence in their ability. We provide lifelong mechanical skills and knowledge about tools and parts and fixing things. The things we teach go far beyond just the fixing of bikes. We don't just sell and repair bikes, we change people's lives."
 
Simon is looking forward to the move to Valletti Plaza and the visibility it will bring to Operation Bicycle. On a personal level, he is continuing to explore different fields of engineering at Santa Rosa JC with a possible goal of getting a degree in transportation engineering. 
A CELEBRITY CHEF COMES TO THE LOVIN' OVEN

Every Tuesday 5-7 teens gather at the Teen Center to prepare a meal for the clients of Sonoma Overnight Support.
Now these teens are not only giving back to the community, they are also learning from one of the best!
 
Celebrity Chef Bryan-David brings his joy and passion for cooking to the Teen Services kitchen as he teaches teens to embrace cooking as an art and to think of how the ingredients blend together to create something special.
 
He expresses his philosophy: What drives me is an indefatigable passion for creating foods that stun.
A SPECIAL SALUTE TO OUR RTW JOB COACHES

Key to the success of our Ready to Work program has been the addition of Job Coaches who support our RTW graduates in securing work experience.
 
"I love that I can use my work experience to help teens and young adults succeed in getting a job and begin to think about a career." -  Debby Kweller
 
2017 Job Coaches                              2018  Job Coaches 
Barry Ansell      Lora Grimes                 Celia Canfield             Joe Lieber
Ted Hoffman     Debby Kweller               Jody Leeds                 Greg Stubbs
John Dicker      Francesca Fifis              Elisa Stancil-Levine     Eva Yearsley
Cristin Felso                                                              
 
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Job Coach, read more in the Job Coach Description or contact Francesca Fifis at francesca@teenservicessonoma.org.
 
The commitment? 16 hours that can change a life!
COWBOY CAB IN 2018


This year we are offering an early-bird special through April 1st. Tickets for this popular event will remain at $100 that includes a full dinner, a variety of beverages, entertainment, amazing auction items, and a heck of a lot of fun! After that date, individual ticket prices will increase to $125, but a table for ten will become a bargain at $1,000 - a savings of $250.
 
See what's happening on our social sites:
(707) 939-1452 |   teenservicessonoma.org