Spring 2020 Ready to Work Graduation


The smiles were plentiful and with good reason as Judy Scotchmoor, Board President of Teen Services Sonoma, welcomed teens, family members, staff, board members and friends to celebrate the accomplishments of another cohort of amazing teens. The event was held Friday, March 6th at Best Western Sonoma's Krug Event Center.

Over the past five weeks, these young people diligently participated in a series of after-school workshops to learn the skills needed for securing their first jobs. They gained self-confidence; learned about the application and hiring process, money management, and customer service; completed their first resumes; and participated in interviews with local business professionals to whom we are very grateful.    


Casey Richter, TSS Program Director, congratulated the students on the skills they have learned and the confidence they have gained and shared some of the other programs that Teen Services offers to Sonoma Valley Teens, including Lovin' Oven Culinary Academy (LOCA) and Team Up. Jennifer Blackwood, RTW instructor, explained the course to the guest and then with a smile on her face, asked the students what they learned about the interview process, and they all immediately sat up straight.

We were delighted to have Josh Gruenhagen from Safeway with us for the event as he talked about how prepared RTW teens are for the interview process and how much he supports the program. During the past two years, Safeway has hired 15 teens and Josh raves about how effective they are. 

Ready to Work Certificates were then handed out to each of the graduates from Sonoma Valley and Creekside High Schools to rounds of applause - followed, of course, by appetizers and cookies prepared by LOCA. 

Congratulations go to: Ashton Andi, Grace Atkinson, Aidan Blackwood, Charlotte Bridant, Liam Dudy, Jayden Fulkerson, Joanna Grippi, Gianna Gruenhagen, Madison Hammond, Sofia Iniguez, Leilio Lis, Cristian Moreno, Morgan Phillips, Carlos Gutierrez Rodriguez, Dominic Rossetti, Diego Salazar, Armando Santos, Veronica Santos, Jack Savage, Maya Suazo, and Sebastian Ward.

--Kendall Comfort and Laci Swan at the Krug Event Center, Best Western Sonoma Valley
-- the Sonoma Valley and Creekside High School teachers who support the program 
-- the following businesses who interviewed our graduates: Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Hamel Family Wines, Mary’s Pizza Shack, Nugget Market, Pets Lifeline, Rising Sun, Safeway, Sonoma Ecology Center, Sonoma Fun Center, Sonoma Land Trust, Sonoma Valley Historical Society, The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa – Marriott, Transcendence Theater Company, and Viansa Sonoma.

And our graduates looked their finest at the interviews thanks to all who contributed clothing to the Pop-up Boutique organized by Joelle Smith of SHENOMA.

For individual graduation photos, visit our 2020 Spring RTW Graduate Gallery and for other fun photos from this cohort, check out RTW in Action.