Monthly Newsletter Full of Good Stuff!

August 2021

In Nature with One Circle

Los Alamos JJAB and Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) teamed up this summer to facilitate a special One Circle program called In Nature With One Circle. The group was co-ed and included incoming 7th, 8th, and 9th graders of all gender identities. JJAB facilitators Christine Martinez and Luke Eigelbach worked with PEEC employees Siobhan Niklasson and Ashleigh Lusher to lead the group, which combined themes of resilience, healthy boundaries, and planning for the future with nature lessons and explorations, including fort building, bird watching, and hiking.

Luke Eigelbach, JJAB One Circle Coordinator is planning several One Circle groups for Fall. More information will be coming soon.


This month, we would like to spotlight the resources, both locally and on the state level, that provide free food and food vouchers to those with need.

Gaia’s Pantry: Gaia’s Pantry is a bear-proof metal box in the parking lot of the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, 1738 N. Sage St., Los Alamos, NM 87544. The pantry exists for the community to share non-perishable food and toiletry items. Items in the pantry are available to anyone who needs it, and the community is encouraged to leave items for donation. For more information, please call or email: (505) 662-2346, office@uulosalamos.org Additional mini food pantries can be found at Saint Job Church at 1319 Trinity Drive, and Trinity on the Hill located at 3900 Trinity Drive.

LA Cares: LA Cares offers supplemental food assistance with distributions on the second Thursday and Friday of every month at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church (2390 North Road). To receive a food box, one must register (in advance) by the Sunday before the distribution. To register, call (505) 661-8015. Phone messages are checked Monday through Friday.

Santa Fe Food Depot (Mobile Unit): A mobile food distribution program which serves low-income residents in Los Alamos on the 4th Friday of each month except when dates conflict with holidays. Time is from 11:30 AM until 12:30 PM. The pantry is at the First United Methodist Church parking lot at 715 Diamond Drive (behind the Lemon Lot). The food is free, but clients must be prepared to complete an application. (505) 471-1633, info@thefooddepot.org

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program): SNAP offers nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and families. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. Those who wish to apply can do so at http://www.yes.state.nm.us/ or contact their local office at (505) 753-2271.

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children): The WIC program provides food and food vouchers for pregnant, nursing, and new mothers. More information can be find here https://www.nmwic.org/ Those interested in applying can contact the local WIC office at (505) 753-4659.

JJAB Podcast

Have you checked out the JJAB Podcast lately? Luke Eigelbach, JJAB Resource Assistant and One Circle Coordinator, continues to facilitate thought-provoking conversations and provide resource updates. Other segments include conversations with Los Alamos youth, Meet Your Resource Specialist, Mental Health Tips, program updates, and much more! Upcoming episodes will include special guests talking about going back to school and giving mental health resources for youth. Make sure you give it a listen!

Dianna Reichelt Joins JJAB

JJAB welcomes Dianna Reichelt to our Resource Specialist team. Dianna will be working with middle and high school youth. She has a bachelor degree in Psychology from Adams State College and most recently spent six years working for The Family YMCA including being the Director for the Reach and Rise Mentoring program. Prior to that Dianna worked as a DD Waiver Case Manager and as a Residential Program Coordinator. JJAB is excited to have Dianna working to make a difference for youth and their families

Say What?

I have been the Clinical Counselor for Los Alamos Middle school for five years now. Without hesitation I can say that partnership between LAPS (Los Alamos Public Schools) and JJAB is essential toward the goal of helping our students and families to thrive. During the middle school/ adolescent years, students and families are faced with many challenges including: academic, social, hormonal, developmental struggles, conflict, peer pressure and more. Sometimes, families trying to navigate these new chapters can feel like they are on a bumpy road with unexpected obstacles and set backs.

JJAB provides so many behind the scenes services, supports and resources to our community. In their partnership with the counselors at schools I believe that they are essential in filling the gaps where our services must stop because of the boundaries of the counselor’s role. JJAB resource specialists can join with us to meet students at the school, build a trusting, safe relationship without judgment, and offer a listening ear, support and a lifeline. They can help families to learn about and assess all of their options and resources.

Over the years, I have been able to call up the resource specialists with an identified tangible need (food, clothing, school supplies; need for resources such as internet, child care, tutoring, social activity gaps) and I have been consistently relieved and thankful for the quick response that more than covers the needs.

I would say especially after the pandemic school year we experienced, we identified many barriers to attendance and school engagement for students such as: social anxiety, learning disabilities, depression and generalized anxiety. Resource specialists are able to partner with us to help students and families to identify and overcome those barriers and issues. I am so thankful for the opportunity to partner with JJAB. I recommend their professional, confidential, friendly and creative employees without hesitation.

Thank you to JJAB for the valuable work you do for our community!

- Michelle Bane, Clinical Counselor Los Alamos Middle School

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By the Numbers

On June 30th, 2021, JJAB wrapped up its fiscal year. It was an incredible year of assisting youth, and their families, through our many programs. JJAB is honored to be a part of the Los Alamos community, and we are incredibly grateful to all those who support us and make our work possible. The following is information “by the numbers” for several of the JJAB programs:

  • 274 youth were assisted by Resource Specialists, an 18% increase from the previous year. Additionally, 797 family members were impacted by the program.
  • 12 One Circle groups were held including 69 youth participants.
  • 14 Restorative Justice conferences were held.
  • 6 sessions of Youth Mental Health First Aid were held, certifying 53 participants.
  • 649 children received free books through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. 6,102 books were distributed in Los Alamos County.
  • 10 Spanish speaking youth received tutoring and homework assistance through LA STEAM Lab.
  • 21 students K-12 grades were provided tutoring through JJAB's volunteer coordination.
  • 3,293 youth interactions occurred through the Natural Helpers program.
  • 695 youth interactions happened through Youth Mobilizers and Art and Resiliency programs in partnership with Teen Center.
  • 3 Community Conversation events were held with local providers working with youth.

Thank you to the LA Daily Post for highlighting JJAB's achievements in the past year JJAB Marks Record Year Assisting Local Youth And Families (ladailypost.com)

Happy Birthday from Dolly!

Is your child signed up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library? Children ages 0 to up 5 living in Los Alamos County are qualified. In addition to receiving a free book in the mail every month, participants will also receive a personalized video message on their birthday from Dolly herself!

school supplies for LAPS students

It is hard to believe, but we are approaching the start of a new school year, which means it's time for one JJAB’s favorite programs: our annual school supply drive.

For the past five years, JJAB has raised funds to provide Los Alamos Public School (LAPS) students with school supplies such as backpacks, notebooks, calculators, pencils, binders, crayons, paper, and other academic supplies. Last year, with the support of individuals, local businesses, and organizations, JJAB was able to raise $4,800 and provide over 60 youth with much-needed supplies.

Efforts are currently under way for providing supplies for this school year. JJAB Resource Specialists will provide supplies to the youth in need in our programs and will collaborate with LAPS counselors and local organizations to identify the needs of additional students. This week JJAB will purchase, as finances allow, the new items and distributes them directly to the students, schools, or organizations before the start of school.

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!

Martin Hook, who works for Merrick Company, is the business representative for the JJAB Board. He is new to the board but is already making an impact by serving on the Financial Development Committee. Let's get to know Martin better:

How long have you lived in Los Alamos? Two years this month.

How long have you been involved with JJAB and why did you become involved? Just about a year. I was looking for an opportunity to become more involved in the community.

What is one thing you would like to share with Los Alamos youth? Everyone makes mistakes. A setback of a year or two isn't going to run your life forever. Pick up the pieces and move on. You are young. You have time. Relax.

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten? Home-canned bear meat on a mining project in the bush in Alaska.

Meet our Resource Specialist Team

JJAB Resource Specialists are available to assist youth and their families with any resources that may be needed to start the 2021-2022 school year. Whether a youth needs fun and safe activities after the school day, assistance with applying for free and reduced school lunches, or assistance with school supplies, our team can help! All services provided through the Resource Specialist Program are tailored to each youth and their family. Services are free of charge and confidential. Connect with a Resource Specialist at Los Alamos JJAB - Resource Specialists . Here’s to a great 2021-2022 school year!

Restorative Justice - Using Affective Statements

Restorative Justice programs like JJAB’s use many different tools to make the process as inclusive, equitable, and respectful as possible. One of those tools is using affective statements in place of more typical responses. Affective statements are brief comments about how others were impacted by a person’s behavior and focus on “I” centered language. Using “I” statements personalizes the information, which makes it more impactful.

The following are examples of affective statements vs. more typical responses, with affective statements in bold:

I am so impressed with the results of your final project. vs. Nice job on your project.

I am thrilled that we are all ready for class. vs. Thank you for getting straight to work.

I’m uncomfortable when I hear you tease… vs. Stop teasing…

When I saw you shove past people in the hall, I was worried that someone was going to

get hurt. vs. You shouldn’t do that.

Affective statements like the ones listed above, delivered in a respectful tone, provide a precise description of a youth’s behaviors and the specific impact of those behaviors. They also separate the deed from the doer, focusing on the youth’s behavior rather than their intrinsic worth as a person. This promotes a save environment where the youth’s voice and feelings are validated.

Affective statements can be used in our everyday life when talking to our kids, partners, coworkers, parents, and in other situation where we wish to discuss our feelings in a productive and safe way.”

N3B Los Alamos Sponsors Imagination Library

Thank you to N3B Los Alamos for sponsoring our local affiliate of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Their generous donation will provide books to 525 children, in Los Alamos County, for the months of August and September. Through individual donations JJAB has provided the Imagination Library program since 2017. Los Alamos JJAB - Imagination Library
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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 the youth in our community to be provided 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.