stories of impact
Teen Services Sonoma – Grant Recipient Success!
Thanks in large part to 2016 and 2017 Community Grants, Teen Services Sonoma launched, then expanded, their successful Welding Program in collaboration with Hanna Boys Center.
The goal: Offer valley youth living-wage job skills!
Spirits were high and students’ thoughtful remarks got the tears flowing during Teen Services Sonoma’s (TSS) recent Ready to Work Graduation Celebration. The evening marked TSS’s maturity as an organization, and it also underscored the important contribution Impact100 Sonoma makes by funding programs and services in Sonoma Valley.
It all started as the very big dream of a very small organization – to provide Sonoma Valley youth, ages 13 – 23, with soft skills and on-the-job training to help them achieve successful employment. Impact100 members caught the dream and helped to make it real, voting in 2011 to award TSS its $100,000 Impact Grant.
Today the fruits of that first big idea are a living reality for hundreds of young adults. Thanks go out to many, including the women of Impact100 who rewarded TSS with additional grants: a 2016 Community Grant of $15,000 to launch a new Welding Program in conjunction with Hanna Boys Center, and a 2017 Community Grant of $19,845 to expand the program, now named The Building Project, by offering construction-related skills development.
Ready to Work graduation speaker Alondra Perez, who attended last summer’s 42-hour program, described how she and her classmates tried their hand at welding, blacksmithing and carpentry, attended presentations by construction industry reps, and visited local employers. Alondra, also a member of SV High School’s Engineering Pathway Program, said that her summer experiences convinced her to choose engineering as her future career.
Next steps for Alondra? TSS will assist her in applying for and, if she’s accepted, attending the 2018 EPIC (Engineering Possibilities in College) three-week summer program at Cal Poly. Speaking at the graduation, Alondra praised TSS as “making me more resourceful. They are always there to guide me in taking the next step in the right direction for my future.”
That’s what our shared work is all about!
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