Impact100 $100,000 has quite an impact on SVTS

“For our part, be assured that the impact you have made upon us, and the young people we serve, will only continue to grow, hopefully long into the future.”  These are the closing words of a letter written by Tim Boeve, President, Sonoma Valley Teen Services.  The letter accompanied an impressive final report that summarizes the achievements and impacts of the SVTS Skills for Life program, which we supported in 2011 with a $100,000 Impact grant.

Sonoma Valley teens attend Employment 101 classes at SVTS

Sonoma Valley teens attend Employment 101 classes at SVTS

SVTS has developed strong collaborations with local businesses in support of the numerous classes and training programs offered to Sonoma Valley teens. Here are just three short excerpts from the detailed report that exemplify part of what has been achieved:

  • All of our programs excel in teaching the very important soft skills that employers increasingly desire from job applicants. Our teens learn how to keep commitments and be on time. They develop a sense of teamwork and cooperation with others. They learn how to dress and to relate to adults and generally how to engage in meaningful activities for their own welfare.
  • At least 90% percent of the teens who have passed through our doors and who are now employed report that they were hired to work because of their SVTS work experiences.
  • The No-Name Café reached impressive levels of sales this past year owing in large part to the time and expertise of IMPACT members Georganne Papac and Cathy Williamson… For the first time in its multi-year history, the student-run business is turning a true profit, seemingly growing each month of its operation.

The entire report provides an awareness of what can happen when a gift of $100,000 is given to an organization in the Sonoma Valley that has a big idea and great potential, but little access to large-scale funds. In their words:

The impact has been truly substantial for our organization as demonstrated in several of the goals we were able to accomplish (as discussed above). Perhaps the single most important impact though came in the “uncovering” of our relatively small and largely unknown organization and “putting us on the map” in the community.  Yes, people knew there was a Teen Center somewhere in the Springs Area and many were aware of something called The Shop and the No Name Café. But the vast majority of Valley residents could not tell you much beyond that, unless of course they knew of the passion and care that our part-time staff Rebecca and Cristin possessed, or they had teens involved in our programs, and even then they were not so sure exactly what SVTS was about. After all, the entire merger between Operation Youth and Valley of the Moon Teen Center to create SVTS only officially occurred approximately a year prior to receiving the Impact Grant.

Frankly until Impact 100 impacted us with this prominent award, we were struggling to get our name and “our brand” out there. I think only our board members and our staff knew of the true value of what we had to offer through our various programs. The fact that Impact 100 women, (enough of them anyway) saw what we saw, that when you spend time with young people, no matter what their background or social standing, and trust that when given some attention and meaningful experiences, they begin to flourish in remarkable ways. And so it has been.

Impact100 Sonoma members can read the full report from the SVTS, by visiting the Members’ Portal: Grantee Reports of the Impact100 Sonoma website.