Monthly Newsletter Full of Good Stuff!

November 2021

Repairing the Relationship

A JJAB Restorative Justice conference is a structured meeting between offender (youth), victim, and community members that have been affected by an event. The offender describes in detail the event that they received a citation for, their thought process during and after the event, and then acknowledges the people that have been affected, and how. The victim and community members have the same opportunity to share.

The police officer or School Resource Officer (SRO) that wrote the citation is always invited to the conference. The officers have attended multiple conferences and have done an amazing job of educating the youth, and community members, about the law that was broken, while also sharing a bit of who they are on a more personal level. By doing this, the officer and the youth have been able to build back the relationship between them, and that is one of the goals of a Restorative Justice Conference: repairing the relationship that has been broken.

Thank you to all of the officers for supporting our youth.

EL ARTE DE SER PADRES (An Event for Spanish-Speaking Parents and Families)

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This month JJAB would like to highlight a resource that is in Albuquerque but offers much needed services to all New Mexicans. Recognizing that childhood trauma is a public health issue, All Faiths Children’s Advocacy Center provides a host of services for youth who have experienced trauma, as well as their families. They focus on the prevention, intervention, investigation, and treatment of childhood trauma. As a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) accredited by the National Children’s Alliance they provide a child-friendly facility where law enforcement, child protection, family advocacy, therapy, and training offer children and their caregivers safety and a road to healing and recovery.

The US Department of Health defines trauma as “…an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning.” Traumatic events and circumstances vary, and can include homelessness; neglect; physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; divorce; and/or family violence. According to their website, All Faiths approaches healing and recovery through a trauma sensitive lens by recognizing the widespread impact of trauma and its lasting impact upon a child’s mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

All Faiths services are available to youth as well as adults with developmental disabilities and include Family Wellness, which refers families to a variety of services offered to victims of trauma and their families to help them navigate the complex system of supports needed on the journey to healing and recovery; age appropriate, legally defensible forensic interviews for individuals who have been the alleged victim of sexual or physical abuse; and placement services for children seeking permanent, loving homes.

For more information about their mission and services, or to contact All Faiths, please visit their website at www.allfaiths.org or call them at (505) 271-0329. JJAB Resource Specialists can also assist families in accessing these resources.

Program Spotlight: Helpers - Bully Prevention Poster Contest

In October, 6th graders in the Helpers program at Aspen Elementary School worked as a team to promote Unity Day by creating posters and hanging them around the school. Morning announcements were also made about Octobers' "Bully Prevention month," and a Bully Prevention Poster Contest was organized. As part of the LAPS school-wide event, all students were encouraged to wear orange on Unity Day in order to show their support for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.

For several years, JJAB has been a proud sponsor and partner for the Helpers programs at Aspen and Barranca Elementary schools. Kimberly Pulliam, Aspen School Counselor, and Nicole McGrane, 5th-grade teacher at Barranca organize and run the amazing Helpers groups at each school.

The following are pictures of entries from the Bullying Prevention Poster Contest.

Teens in the Community

Meet Sophia Buckman (they/them)

Sophia currently attends Los Alamos High School (LAHS) and is in the 11th grade. Sophia enjoys life in Los Alamos, describing it as a “super comfy and homey place…a cozy place where you walk around in town and make meaningful, small interactions that bring [you] joy.”

Sophia has been passionate about music ever since they were 3 years old and saw the Nutcracker live. Sophia says they fell in love with the music. “Ever since, music has been part of my life. And now I have the opportunity to make it.” Sophia plays the trombone and currently holds leadership positions with the LAHS Band and Jazz Band. Their musical involvements also extend outside of school, as they are a member of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony and Jazz Project of Los Alamos.

Sophia is a proud member of and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. They volunteered for the first and second Pride events in Los Alamos by creating The Guide to Pride: A Map to Pride Flags and doing face paintings of the various Pride flags. “We all live together. We should care for each other in this society,” says Sophia. "If we don’t try to understand by not supporting or listeningm the only thing we do is perpetuate a cycle of ignorance."

For Sophia, art is a vital tool for self-discovery, self-care, and healing. They have gotten connected with art related resources such as the Teen Center, the library, school clubs, and the Art Honor Society. “I enjoy doing art at the Teen Center! I like borrowing the Copic markers from the Arts & Resiliency program. It’s therapeutic, and a great opportunity as an artist to have access to a place where you can borrow very fancy art materials and have guidance from someone that can teach you.”

Thank you for being a light in our community, Sophia!

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Winter Clothing Project

As colder weather starts to arrive, JJAB is working hard to make sure youth in our community have the proper gear to stay warm and protected. This year, Los Alamos JJAB is once again organizing a winter clothing project for those in need. Youth, ages 5 – 18, that live or attend school in Los Alamos County will be provided winter coats, boots, gloves, scarves, and/or hats.

JJAB asked community partners such as Los Alamos Public School counselors, Self-Help, and the LAC Victim Assistant for recommendations of youth who may need assistance with getting winter gear. Between the community partners and JJAB’s Resource Specialists, 95 requests were made! Items are being ordered and sorting will begin next week. The clothing with be distributed in mid-November, just in time for the Holiday season.

This project is made possible by incredible donations from Rio Grande Orthodontics, Merrick and Company, and individual community members.

get to know our board

Here at JJAB, our board plays an integral role in meeting our mission of helping youth and their families; we would not be the organization we are today without them. With that in mind, we would like for you, our readers, to get to know them!

Kristine Coblentz, is the Healthy Schools Program Director at Los Alamos Public Schools, a school representative for the JJAB Board, and has supported JJAB in a variety of roles, providing her incredible wisdom along the way. Let's get to know Kristine better:

How long have you lived in Los Alamos? 17 years. I love living in the mountains, close to nature and the trails, in a 5-minute-commute community whose residents value health, volunteerism, reading, the environment, and the arts.

How long have you been involved with JJAB and why did you become involved? I have been involved with JJAB since I was hired as a Board Coordinator in 2011. I piloted the Youth Resource Specialist program in 2012 and continued supporting the organization as a grant writer for many years and now as a board member representing Los Alamos Public Schools. I have always been passionate about helping youth and families develop resiliency and building a healthy, sustainable community.

What is one thing you would like to share with Los Alamos youth? Soak in the good whenever you can, grow your ability to be present with whatever arises... even the tough stuff, and know that there is life after high school!

Tell us something fun about yourself. I love traveling and learning and speaking different languages. I speak (in descending order of proficiency!) English, German, Spanish, French and the tiniest bit of American Sign Language. I have lived in 8 US states, Germany, France, Austria, and Australia.

Say What?

Check out what some teens have to say about the Youth Mobilizers program:

One youth was initially interested when they saw the piano. “That was the immediate switch that made me realize the limitless fun that resides in the Teen Center.” This youth loves how many opportunities and resources the Teen Center provides, and that they can have more of a leadership role through Youth Mobilizers.

Another teen stated that he originally joined for the free food, but after spending time as a Youth Mobilizer he realized that he actually valued the program. “I just enjoy creating opportunities for the people around me. It helps me with my supervillainy.”

Other teens commented on the “great community being a Youth Mobilizer has built.”

Making Connections

Los Alamos JJAB Executive Director Lisa Zuhn and LAPS Healthy Schools Program Director Kristine Coblentz invited Los Alamos’ therapists, school counselors, resource specialists, and community providers to a “Meet and Greet” to re-connect with one another.

The primary goal was to share contact information and experiences in order to support one another and strengthen our community of care.

The 40 participants gathered on the patio at Fuller Lodge Tuesday, October 5th, and had conversations around emerging gaps, existing strengths, and how we can take our partnerships to the next level to benefit our community’s youth and families.

Each one of us has the power to make a difference in someone’s life. We are stronger together.

Resource Specialist Program

Have you ever wondered what a youth and their family experience when they are connected to the JJAB Resource Specialist program? The following is a brief summary of the program intake process:

Once a JJAB Resource Specialist receives a referral for a youth to participate in the program, an initial intake is scheduled. During the intake, the Resource Specialist will meet with the youth’s parents to discuss any concerns the family may have.

Many domains of a family’s life are discussed during an intake, such as family relationships, the youth’s mental health, academic concerns, and whether the family has any immediate needs, such as food insecurity or problematic bills. A Resource Specialist working with middle school and high school students will also complete an intake with the youth directly, to discuss their concerns.

After completing an intake, the Resource Specialist then works collaboratively with the family to create a case plan. A case plan consists of action items to be completed to address identified concerns. Some examples of items on a case plan could be connecting a youth with a therapist, looking for community partners to assist with a problematic bill, or connecting a youth to a tutor to assist with homework. The Resource Specialist will frequently refer back to the case plan to assess which goals have been met and which goals remain ongoing. New goals may be added to a case plan if the need arises.

JJAB's Resource Specialist program serves youth ages 5 - 18, and their families, that live or attend school in Los Alamos County. Contact information can be found on our website or by calling the main JJAB phone (505) 709-8125.

How Can You Help?

Los Alamos JJAB programs are made possible through contracts, grants, and generous donations from individual donors. Your investment in JJAB will allow us to provide the youth in our community the tools they need to feel supported and thrive. Contributions to JJAB go straight to work helping youth that live or attend school in Los Alamos County. Donate today at Los Alamos JJAB - Support Us

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Contact Us

Do you have questions, concerns, or comments?

Our Vision: We value, celebrate, and appreciate all the youth of our community, and help each develop resiliency, create meaningful connections, and build capacities to thrive.

Our Mission: We effectively facilitate the application of resources through innovative direct services and collaborative networks, to engage and support the youth and families of Los Alamos.