Employees of the Month

Kymber McFerran
Kymber McFerran February’s Employee of the Month

Kymber was recognized by multiple supervisors for her hard work, dedication, flexibility, and encouragement. She came to Koinonia looking to make a difference and to offer support to youth in need, which her supervisor says that she does everyday on the job. Kymber arrives ready to work, focused on the youth, and with a ton of positive energy. She is always willing to adjust her schedule and is eager to gain more knowledge about program and the youth served. Kymber also utilizes her time to draw the youth pictures that illustrate an obstacle that the youth are currently struggling with and to offer support in working through it. Thank you for your hard work, Kymber!

Congratulations Jenna!

When Jenna first started working for Koinonia in February of 2014 there was one word that came to mind: Heart. Jenna is a young woman who really loves working side by side with the kids here at Koinonia. 20141214_120704She invests a lot of herself into what she does and is very talented when it comes to building relationships with our girls at House 5.

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Jenna was recently promoted from Child Care Counselor to House Mom at House #5. She will be taking on a whole new set of responsibilities and challenges. Jenna has earned this opportunity with her endless amount of energy and positivity. She has wonderful insight into the girls and a strong grasp on program. It will be exciting to see how Jenna applies these great qualities to our Facility Supervisor Assistant position. No doubt it will be fantastic! Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

“Our Promise” Kick-Off at the Capitol

Paige, Dante & Justine
Paige, Dante & Justine

Koinonia Homes for Teens was invited to participate in the State of California Employee’s “Our Promise” campaign launch on the lawn of the State Capitol this year. Paige, Justine and Dante manned the Koinonia booth speaking with several hundred State employees and “Our Promise” campaign managers. All in all, the event was a grand success and Koinonia made many new friends.

“Our Promise” is the State employee’s program that allows them to make charitable donations through payroll deductions to the many wonderful non-profit organizations throughout our state. Many state employees have blessed Koinonia by selecting us as their chosen charity. Needless to say, the teens did great in representing Koinonia, perfecting their public speaking skills and learning about all the different departments and agencies throughout our State’s government.

Many thanks to the “Our Promise” team and the United Way for including us in this year’s event!

So Much more than just a Water Fight

Water Fight!
Water Fight!

Every week at our group home we work with the girls cleaning the outside and inside of the van.  One particularly hot Loomis afternoon the girls had some extra time and began spraying each other with the hose and looking for rainbows in the spray.  It didn’t take long before it evolved into a full blown water fight, with buckets and sponges and each girl trying to get control of the hose.  The look of childlike glee on the faces of those teenage girls was undeniable.  Afterwards Cyndal H. soaked to the skin said, “Thanks, I’ve never had a water fight before.”  That’s what we’re doing here, giving these kids seemingly normal everyday experiences, but for them they are priceless memories they will never forget.  By the time Cyndal left our care she had had a water fight, learned how to ride a bike, been to a King’s NBA game and learned what it was like to be a carefree kid.

Jill Bradford
Child Care Counselor
Koinonia Homes for Teens

“Angels in the Alley”

It is hard to believe that the “Angels in the Alley” event could get bigger . . . or better! But this year the elves that organize the affair, Dorian McCoy and Kari Pegram, have continued to have an impact that goes far beyond the Christmas celebration. With help from donors in the building industry and a number of families from around the community, “Angels in the Alley” fundraised enough for the party, gift cards for each of the foster youth, and to establish a scholarship fund for teens transitioning from the foster care system. What a phenomenal group!

The event itself at Strikes Unlimited in Rocklin is fun, fun, nothing but fun! This is vitally important to what we do as a program since teaching our young people how to have fun sober is essential in their recovery. The generous gift cards are powerful, not only for what the teens can buy themselves but also for what they can buy others. Two of our young ladies have young children, and for the first time they were able to buy gifts for their babies with the gift cards. To have “Angels in the Alley” develop a scholarship program for our young people transitioning from the foster care system is outstanding. This area is one of the biggest missing pieces in foster care as our young adults just don’t have the same family support that many do. Lastly, it is absolutely undeniable at the “Angels in the Alley” event that people really do care. The event had everything from our own personal elf, the American Elves judges and emcee for the Christmas Rap Competition (Cher, Jennifer Lopez, Brittney Spears, Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest), to the community members who were there to encourage and cheer our teens on.

During the bowling, the ever popular “Twinkle Toes Award” (most original bowling technique), the “Gutter Ball Award” (best gutter ball bowler), and the best decorated Christmas Hat Award were determined. Honored with Bowling Pin Trophies, the competitions brought lots of cheers, jeers and good fun. Once we moved into our private party room, the American Elves Christmas Rap competition began. The teens had been working on individual and group performances, from raps and songs to a poem. What a blast . . . even with our own Simon Cowell being critical about everything.

This year we had a special speaker Tharon Trujillo. As an award winning teen entrepreneur, he brought forth the challenge to be the best you can be in spite of your circumstances, and had the story to back it up. Our teens were not only encouraged, but inspired. Tharon ended his talk with gifts for everyone. As it turned out for one of our CRC young ladies, Tharon’s gift was the first Christmas gift that she had ever unwrapped . . . and that was only the beginning. Next came the gift cards along with several personal heartfelt gifts from the Angels in the Alley team. As it turns out, there is only one way to closeout a Christmas party put on by a bunch of elves, “all-you-can-eat ice cream sundaes!”

Tharon Trujillo
Tharon Trujillo
Natalie Overwhelmed with Scholarship
Natalie Overwhelmed with Scholarship
Gifts for All
Gifts for All

Hugs for Santa
Hugs for Santa
Pizza & Bowling . . . Perfect!
Pizza & Bowling . . . Perfect!
Serious Bowling Hats
Serious Bowling Hats
Trophies
Trophies
Exceptional Hat Decorating
Exceptional Hat Decorating
Top Christmas Rap Group
Winning Christmas Rap Group
Christmas Rap Panel of Judges
Christmas Rap Panel of Judges