“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.”
Age 23. I was born in Sonoma – in a bathtub! My mom gives pony rides at events all over the Bay Area, and my dad is working on a gourmet food start-up.
In my free time, I enjoy riding my bike, trying to learn computer programming, making art, traveling, and spending time with my friends.
In 2007 I hung a piece of art up in the No Name Café on the Sonoma Valley High School campus. After seeing my art, Cristin Lawrence [Felso, Executive Director of TSS] invited me to join an afterschool art program that was run in the café. The No Name 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.
I would go to the No Name Café even in the summer when school wasn’t in session. I rode my bike there through the vineyards from my house in Schellville. One day, I parked my bike outside of the café and when I walked in, all of my friends were there. It was my 17th birthday, and everyone had shown up to celebrate and make art. One of my best memories ever.
Another memory was the time Teen Services organized a trip to the de Young Museum in San Francisco to see the Birth of Impressionism exhibit. I spent hours looking at all of the paintings. It was a stunning show that I never would have known about or seen if it hadn’t been for Teen Services.
Teen Services gave me a space and endless opportunities to define my identity and shape my future. I cannot emphasize enough how much they helped me throughout my teen years and even beyond. They care so much about every person who wants to be a part of their programs and the experience you have with them is incredibly rewarding, enriching, and precious.
I learned how to be creative, how to teach, and how to be OK with being a bit weird. Those are lessons that help me to this day. Teen Services helped bring out my creativity and taught me about design, managing people, working with computers, and problem solving for projects. These are skills I regularly rely on.
Teen Services made a tremendous difference in my life. When I first arrived there, I didn’t have any goals. I just wanted to make art. I ended up accomplishing so much more than that. They helped me discover so much about my identity and helped shape many of my interests. When I was transitioning to college from high school, they helped me raise money and find scholarships. They enriched my life so much.
I went to school at UC Santa Cruz and majored in Business and Economics. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with highest honors in that major. I now work in Digital Marketing at Plantronics in Santa Cruz. Most of what I do is around designing and enhancing customer journeys.
I’m also creating a workshop to help students learn how to make a personal website for job or internship opportunities. I want to teach students about personal branding, basic website design, and tools that will help make them more competitive in the job market.
I still make art, but it’s mostly digital these days. I’m currently working on a computer program to collaborate with a choreographer.
In the future, I would like to start an art blog that captures the creative process of different artists. I’d also like to go back to school in a few years in a different state. I haven’t figured out what I want to go to school for yet.
My friends. Over the years, I have built incredible relationships with amazing people.