Help us fill the cookie jar!
Our goal is $100,000 and we are more than halfway there!
Your gift matters!
All donations will support our teen programs.
$50 - Covers 3 hours of a teen's work experience in one of our social enterprises
$100 - Provides supplies and staff for 10 teens to participate in live Cooking with Paloma, learning how to cook simple, healthy meals at home with kits provided by TSS
$250 - Purchases supplies for each teen to complete 30 hours of instruction in the Lovin' Oven Culinary Academy
$500 - Allows 10 teens to participate in web development training and learn about careers in the tech industry
$1,000 - Provides 4 teens with 8 hours of bike mechanics training at Operation Bicycle and a refurbished bike of their own
$5,000 - Delivers 10 hours of work readiness instruction to 12 teens who gain the soft skills needed for successful employment
Thank you for your support
Twenty-four Sonoma Valley teens received their Ready to Work Certification after completing the 10-hour course in which they learn how to get their first job and become successful employees. The course, now virtual, covered: job search resources and strategies, resumes and job applications, business/employer standards, basic financial literacy and money management, interview attire, and real-world interview experience with local employers with real positions to fill.
The course is enhanced by a group of local businesses that participate in mock interviews with the teens, although some teens even get hired even from the mock interviews. Participating businesses for the current graduating class include: Groskopf Warehouse and Logistics, Mary's Pizza, Nugget Market, Operation Bicycle, Redwood Credit Union, Safeway, Sonoma Golf Club, Teen Services Culinary Garden Program, and Wells Fargo. Ready to Work would not be possible without the generous support of these local businesses.
Course graduates have access to a volunteer job coach to support them in their search for gainful employment and are provided with complimentary interview attire courtesy of the SHENOMA and local thrift store, Bon Marche.
Looking for the perfect gift for a bike enthusiast?
Gift cards are now available for sales or services at Operation Bicycle. Gift cards can be applied to any purchase, including service, parts, accessories, and bikes.
On Sunday, October 25th, Chef Paloma picked up our check at the 2020 Jack London Yacht Club (JLYC) awards in their Grant Drive-Through Distribution Event. To add to the celebratory atmosphere, grant recipients were encouraged to decorate their cars for the festivities and drive by the judges and JLYC Commodores Jim Burch and Ana Dominguez, who were stationed on the Jack London Saloon porch in Glen Ellen.
With cash prizes at stake, leave it to Paloma to be creative and bring along a little friend.
Yep – we got 3rd place with the comment from Ana: “Your cuteness, zero-waste mode-of-transportation, and enthusiasm was not missed by our judges! (the little guy in the basket helped too)”
Cian was born in Santa Rosa and has lived in Sonoma for much of his life. Cian graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 2016 and is currently pursuing a major in philosophy at Santa Rosa Junior College. He has been a very active member of the community, working every summer as a camp counselor, teaching performing arts skills to kids 15 and under. Cian has always wanted to be a part of a nonprofit organization and assist in its function, and he is thrilled to help people with whatever they need. Once Cian receives his bachelor degree in philosophy, he hopes to travel the world helping others by joining the Peace Corps.
Needless to say, Adrian is delighted to have him on board!
Every week, Teen Services can expect a special visit and a smile from Bob Gossett. With COVID restrictions in place, students have been unable to tend the gardens at Flowery, Altimira and Sassarini schools, so Bob stepped in. He has been maintaining the gardens, harvesting the produce, and delivering the veggies to nonprofits in the Valley. We are one of the lucky ones!
Bob shows up 2-3 times each week with a basket full of amazing produce for Chef Paloma who then creates a delicious and nutritional meal for the homeless clients of Sonoma Overnight Support.
Thank you, Bob! We are so grateful to you and the smiles that you bring to others.
Thanks to funding from Creative Sonoma and Sonoma Plein Air
Foundation, a unique sculpture resides outside of Operation Bicycle in
Vailetti Plaza in The Springs – a sculpture with a story.
Dubbed The Tree of Possibilities, this 13-foot kinetic sculpture is made of recycled bicycle parts and culinary items representing our two social enterprises: Operation Bicycle and the Lovin’ Oven. It was created by metal sculptor Marty Munson, assisted by two teens - Alondra Perez and Leila Whitney. Together, the three determined the general design of the tree and the teens learned about weight, balance, form and space, as well as a variety of welding techniques. Hanging from the tree are flattened spoons and metal leaves imprinted with words about teen hopes and dreams for the future.
To read the full story, click here.
To kick off the new partnership between Boys & Girls Club and Teen Services, we held a socially-distanced Ready to Work RTW course at The Club at Maxwell Village over the past two weeks. The small group setting was a perfect chance to pilot a new video version of RTW recently developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This version has great flexibility as it can be used in conjunction with a Zoom meeting or (as in this case) simply providing an additional instructional modality to keep the content engaging.
The latest version of the RTW course now includes information for students on their workplace rights to freedom from discrimination and harassment thanks to Elizabeth Kristen from Legal Aid at Work.
While students always look forward to the capstone portion of the course – THE INTERVIEW – we realized that the requisite hand shake practice would not be very applicable during COVID. So we modified the practice in a rather amusing way… we all scrubbed our hands, put on gloves, and took the teens outside to practice a proper adult introduction with a firm, confident handshake. We're optimistic that this invaluable social skill will regain its relevance someday soon!
We'd like to thank Joelle Smith of SHENOMA and Anna Bimenyimana of Bon Marche for providing a free, personal shopping experience to our grads after hours!
Even though we are currently unable to provide our usual programs directly to teens, we have re-purposed our resources to fill specific needs in the community.
Providing meals to those who need them most... With the expertise of our Chef Paloma, we are using our Lovin' Oven commercial kitchen to increase the number of meals we provide to the homeless through Sonoma Overnight Support, providing our famous cookies to La Luz for distribution to their clients, and working with our nonprofit partners to provide healthy packaged dinners for those in need.
Helping people get exercise and have dependable transportation... Operation Bicycle remains open for drop-off repair services, so people can continue to use their bicycles for both recreation and transportation. Many who use Operation Bicycle's services depend on their bikes to shop or get to work as well as for exercise.
In both efforts, we are strictly following Covid-19 protocols for the health and safety of our staff and our customers.
Thanks to funding from Creative Sonoma and Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, a unique sculpture is taking shape at the studio of artist and sculptor Martin Munson. Each week Alondra Perez (left) and Leila Whitney (middle) join Marty to learn the skills involved in creating a 9-foot, kinetic sculpture made of recycled bicycle parts and culinary items. Together, the three determined the general design of the tree and the teens have learned about weight, balance, form and space, as well as a variety of welding techniques. The end result will be the Tree of Possibilities on which will hang flattened spoons and metal leaves imprinted by teens with words about their hopes and dreams for the future.
All Sonoma Valley teens are invited to create the leaves and share their sentiments. Stamping will take place at Teen Services, Sonoma Valley High School, Mentoring Alliance locations, Art Escape, and Boys & Girls Club (The Club) later this month. For exact dates, contact the project manager, Pat Meier-Johnson.
The tree will be installed outside of Operation Bicycle in Vailetti Plaza and the ribbon cutting will take place on Saturday, April 25 at 1:00 pm. Plan to join us and enjoy the Tree of Possibilities!
Teen Services extends its thanks to Marty Munson and our funders as well as award-winning artist Pat Meier-Johnson who serves as the project manager and her husband, film maker and journalist Russ Johnson who is documenting the entire project. This has been an amazing team effort.
The smiles were plentiful and with good reason as Becky Jo Peterson, Teen Services Sonoma Executive Director, welcomed teens, family members, staff, board members and friends to celebrate the accomplishment of 48 amazing teens. The event was held Friday, October 25th at Vintage House.
Instructor Jennifer Blackwood explained the course to the guests, and with Casey Richter TSS Program Director, congratulated the students on the skills they have learned and the confidence they have gained. With a smile on her face, Jennifer asked the students what they learned about the interview process, and they all immediately sat up straight.
Congratulations go to: Kaya Akins, Joshua Alcaraz, Marisol Alvarez, Vince Basada, Adrian Cabrera, Vanessa Carrillo, Cross Collins, Victor Corona, Ennio Dada, Javi Dorantes, Yasmin Esper, Daphne Fedor, Agustin Fernandez, Alex Filippi, Katherine Fonseca Rodriguez, Dayana Gomez, Lupita Gutierrez, Nathan Gutierrez, Val Gutierrez, Sandra Hagstrom, Zachary Hammond, Eddy Haro, Alex Hipkiss, John Hoffman, Rosie Houghton, Diego Jaramillo, Patricia Jimenez, Tommy Long, Beatriz Lopez, Chases McNeilly, David Mendoza, Marisol Morales, Dominic Pisani, Carlos Ramirez, Alonso Robles, Alonso Rodriguez, Ava Rowley, Prisila Ruiz, Uli Saiz-Tapia, Gabe Schaus, Max Sinclair, Spencer Spotts, Giovanni Stechman, Lucas Stevenson, Mia Sweeney, Owen Vanzant, Nataly Vargas, and Natalie Wetzel.
For more information and additional photos, click here.
Yesterday our inaugural LOCA students had their first test… cooking on their own under the guidance of chef Paloma, Iron Chef style. To evaluate the progress of her students, Paloma challenged the students to create an entree; working as a team to create the side, then individually they were quizzed on their ability to sear and properly cook a pork chop. Paloma gave the students a basket of mixed ingredients to pick from. Chef Paloma was incredibly impressed by their choice of an autumn cabbage salad with lightly blanched carrots, fresh pear, parsley, and a shallot vinaigrette.