Monthly Newsletter Full of Good Stuff!
In Nature with One Circle Group starts June 17th
Summer Camp Assistance
Resource Specialists (RS) are available to assist youth in finding fun and safe summer activities offered in Los Alamos County. When an RS meets with middle and high school youth, the RS will inquire about the youth’s interests and hobbies. The RS will then locate summer camps and programs that match the youth’s interests and present all options to the youth and his or her parents. If the cost of a summer program would prevent the youth from attending, the RS is frequently able to locate assistance by negotiating a discounted rate directly with the selected summer program or by finding financial assistance through a local community organization. The RS team has resources for summer programs that cover many interests: working with animals, technology, art, nature, sports and more!
JJAB’s Resource Specialists are available to assist youth in accessing this and other programs. Visit www.losalamosjjab.com/resource-specialists for more information.
Founded by now President Melissa Arias, Lemonade Living’s mission is to enrich the lives of differently abled folks living in Los Alamos by partnering with other local organizations to offer activities and events, therapy services, job skills training, and eventually long-term residential living. Lemonade Living created and coordinates the Developmental Disabilities and Special Needs Roundtable to coordinate services between local organizations and to fill service gaps for those with special needs and their families.
In October of 2019 Lemonade Living took over ownership of Rose Chocolatier (located downtown at 149 Central Park Sq.), where it has since been running its Jobs Training Program in partnership with Los Alamos Public Schools. Students in Los Alamos High School’s Living Skills Program are in the shop learning customer service skills, cash register operation, chocolate making, baking, and how a small business operates.
Lemonade Living was founded with the dream of a farm with therapy services that would provide life enrichment activities through arts and music, academic development, and social activities. Currently, this dream is still in development as Lemonade Living does not have its own stables or farm. This April the nonprofit began raising funds to purchase the Historic Lujan Cabin for their Homestead Farm and Ranch School program.
Youth with disabilities, or their parents, guardians, or other family members, join Lemonade Living and Parents Reaching Out June 5th and 12th for a virtual workshop and resources fair! Forward@14 is a series of workshops designed to introduce and explore important issues in transitioning beyond high school. Topics include self-advocacy, disability laws, how to run your own IEP/ISP, options after high school, healthcare transition, and more. To register, please visit https://mailchi.mp/52f250a242b4/pro-june-2021-workshop-sign-up
JJAB’s Resource Specialists are available to assist families with youth in accessing this and other programs. Visit www.losalamosjjab.com/resource-specialists for more information.
Teens in our Community
Meet Sarah: she is 17 years old and moved to Los Alamos almost 3 years ago from Kentucky. Upon her arrival to Los Alamos, Sarah noticed the Teen Center and immediately became intrigued with it. Being homeschooled, the Teen Center became Sarah’s playground for socializing. “I would describe myself as a do-er. Art is something I have done my entire life. I started with digital art back at home, and thanks to the Arts and Resiliency program at the Teen Center [led by Ericka Becker] I was able to explore other forms of art such as painting, glass work, jewelry making, crafting classes and much more. Ericka is super amazing and sweet. Secondly, it is very fun being able to share the process of creating something. When I am at home, I can spend hours in a piece of art, and that is it; but at Arts and Resiliency, you get to share your work and progress with others."
The Arts and Resiliency program provides space, time, and materials for teens to explore, and express themselves in creative ways. It is a facilitated program that provides professional, therapeutic artistic guidance and motivation. The program is funded by Los Alamos JJAB and provided at the Los Alamos Teen Center twice per week.
Sarah believes that art is endless, and that it is link to people’s mental health. “In the days I don’t feel like doing art, I still go to Arts and Resiliency and end up drawing or creating something, the creative atmosphere in that room is contagious. I would recommend Arts and Resiliency to anyone who is ever inclined to scribble on a notepad."
"I am a single mother of a 7-year-old boy and was referred to a local class, Love & Logic, by my JJAB Resource Specialist. My worker recommended this class as an extra support for me, and my family. I really enjoyed the class; the dynamics that you learn can be applied based on your own family values. The philosophy of the content is to create a secure and loving attachment with your child, parallel to a process of discipline. It was nice to hear other parents share their struggles and their challenges because it made me feel like I was not alone, or failing at my job as a parent. I used to be so hesitant to attend classes like this because it felt like I was being told how to be a parent. The truth is that being a parent is not a natural teaching, and there are challenges and struggles that should not be taboo. I am glad I got rid of the stigma of feeling judged for attending these classes." – Los Alamos Parent
The Love & Logic program is funded by Los Alamos JJAB and provided at Family Strengths Network twice per year.
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!
Nicole Raddu Ferry is the faith based representative for the JJAB Board. She was elected as Chair of the Board in March 2021. Let's get to know Nicole better:
How long have you lived in Los Alamos? I have lived in Los Alamos twice. The first time from 2005-2008 and loved living in Quemazon with my kids going to Mountain School. In that time I was a counselor at the Middle School. I moved back when I was called to serve as pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and really like living close the church and being able to walk a few steps to get on Mitchell Trail! Also, I love our small town parades, our care for creation, and most of all the generosity of the folks who live here. If there is a need, folks step in.
How long have you been involved with JJAB and why did you become involved? I was asked to be on the JJAB board in 2017 as the faith representative and have loved this work. We have AWESOME children, youth and families and can offer so many resources for them to be the best families they can be. This is the best part of JJAB: How can we accompany one another in Los Alamos, what is needed for all of us to reach our full potential with joy!
What is one thing you would like to share with Los Alamos youth? I would like for our youth to know that each one of them is essential in this community. They are essential simply because they are here. Not because of their grades, or how much money they have, or how “successful” they are in music or sports. They are here. They have skills to share. They have ideas we need to hear. They matter.
What is something fun we should know about you? Alicia Keys is my favorite pop singer. When you combine her strong work ethic with her sweet and grounded nature (she appears just so kind), her respect and understanding of others, her rockin’ style, her courage and her honesty with all the charity work she does (generosity!), and her incredible performance skills with her voice sent from heaven.
Restorative Justice Program
The Restorative Justice program assists youth to learn what it means to become accountable for one’s actions. JJAB held its first Restorative Justice conference in December 2019 and since that time 25 conferences have been held for youth referred from Los Alamos Teen Court.
In a conference a youth is asked to recount the event that has caused harm with the people that were affected and articulate how their actions have impacted others and what they have learned. After the youth has had a chance to speak, community members and victims receive a chance to articulate how the youth’s actions impacted them, which usually evokes emotion for the participants.
An Agreement, a list of ways for the youth to make amends, is created by all of the participants. To empower the youth to take responsibility, the youth is asked to agree to the items sanctioned. The overall purpose being that the youth learns from their mistake, but to also make sure they feel welcomed back into the community. The message is, “You are not defined by this event, but what you do after this will define you, the choice is yours.”
Following the Restorative Justice conference the youth is matched with a JJAB Resource Specialist who helps them to develop a plan for completing their Agreement. The Resource Specialist also works with the youth and their family, administering evaluations, to help better understand the youth's behavior and, if needed, provide resources.
Celebrating PRIDE June 6 - 12
“Protecting and celebrating LGBTQ+ youth is an integral part of what we do at JJAB, irremovable from our make up as an organization. At JJAB, our mission is to surround youth with support and resources that will help them thrive, so when we work with a youth who identifies as LGBTQ+ or who is questioning their gender or sexuality, we connect them to activities, organizations, and mental health supports that will help them blossom in their identity and community. As someone who grew up without LGBTQ+ resources, I am endlessly happy to know that Los Alamos youth will see themselves not only reflected in Pride activities but CELEBRATED. We love you, LGBTQ+ Los Alamos!” -Luke Eigelbach, Resource Assistant/One Circle Coordinator
Have you checked out the JJAB Podcast lately? There are youth segments, meet your Resource Specialists, program updates, resource options, and much more. Make sure you listen to the latest episode "Discussing Anti-Racism with Teen Advocate Mikalh Adams".
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
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.