This month KYJO would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of two Social Workers (SW) who have been going above and beyond to ensure the needs of our residents are taken care of. Santa Clara County SW Mary Lightholder and Merced County SW Francisco Mendoza are always quick to respond to emails and phone calls. They ALWAYS have the best interest of the minor they work with and go above and beyond providing support for them. KYJO Head of Mental Health Services Katie Counts feels truly blessed to be working with these individuals and continues to look forward to conversations she has with them. These Department of Social Services partnerships inspire KYJO residential staff to put their best efforts forward in their work each day in our residential youth homes.
KYJO Events & Outings
This month, KYJO Residential Barstow House held their 1st Annual Wing Eating Contest; Residents VS. Staff. Executive Director Kevin Jordan, Human Resources Assistant Cameron Ferraro, Barstow Facility Manager Luis Santiago and Residential Direct Care Counselor Tyri Haynie went head to head against four Barstow residents. After the wing sauce settled…Tyri came out victorious against all the participants! Thank you to ADvine for making the last minute accommodations to come out and film the event. To check out the video of the contest, visit the KYJO Instagram (@kyjoenterprises) and Facebook social media pages.
Foster Family Agency
Congratulations to the Sparks family on the adoption of two of their foster placements. This month the family finalized the adoption of their two 3 year old foster daughters; Laylonie and Alana Sparks. Each child has been in placement in the Sparks home for roughly two years. The Sparks currently have long term guardianship of two other minors and now a total of six children in their long term care. They are excited to welcome these two foster daughters as permanent members of their family. Thank you Gary and Patricia for your long term dedication to permanently building a supportive loving home for the foster placements in your care!
Much gratitude to our KYJO staff celebrating anniversaries this month! Thank you for your hard work and dedication to KYJO.
Mari Berber- Residential Direct Care Counselor
Mary Sanchez-FFA Social Worker
February is Black History Month. This month KYJO would like to spotlight Simmons Wellness Center, owned and operated by African-American Licensed Marriage, Child and Family Therapists, Johnny & Amber Simmons. Simmons Wellness Center has been in practice in the Central Valley for three years. Mr. Simmons currently lends his therapeutic skills set to working with some of the most complex KYJO residents. Mr. Simmons is a former KYJO Residential Direct Care Counselor who went on to obtain his Master’s degree in Marriage, Child and Family for the direct purposes of providing therapeutic services to the African American population.
The topic of mental health and therapy have long been taboo within the African- American community. It is the hope of Mr. and Mrs. Simmons that their work/practice will help lead to honest conversations, education/awareness and treatment of unprocessed and trans-generational trauma within their community. Mr. Simmons specializes in treating clients with several different therapeutic modalities but specializes in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). He also credits his success to his personal life experiences which helps him connect with clientele with similar backgrounds. It is the goal of Simmons Wellness Center to expand their individual therapy practice and begin to establish their practice with group therapy sessions facilitated exclusively by African American clinicians.
As more and more African Americans begin to establish themselves professionally in the mental health field. Johnny and Amber Simmons are hopeful that the stigma of mental health issues will begin to be eradicated. KYJO would like the give a huge thank you to Simmons Wellness Center for doing the much needed mental health work with the black community in the Central Valley.
Hello KYJO Family,
As we begin to fly through the months of 2021 I would like to thank each and every one of our staff and board members who have continued to work throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic. As the U.S. begins the vaccination process. I am hopeful that as essential workers, the majority of our staff will be given the privilege of a Covid-19 vaccine, to ensure that they are immune from the virus while working in our facilities/FFA homes.
In the coming months, KYJO Mental Health team will be rolling out the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program in conjunction with our agency receiving Medi-Cal authorization. MBSR will coincide with our FEARLESS campaign, spotlighting the importance of mindfulness based stress reduction techniques to increase positive mental health in our STRTP residents. We will be partnering with various community businesses including Athletic Performance gym to help execute this program.
Thank you to all for your continued support of KYJO Enterprises, Inc. Stay Well!
Our doors are always open to donations for our Residential Group Homes and foster youth. We are in need of:
- Athletic shoes, hiking boots and river sandals (variety of men’s and women’s sizes)
- New pillowcases and bath towels
- New or gently-used sweatpants
- Paper products (toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels)
- Kitchen supplies (aluminum foil, zip lock bags in sandwich and one-gallon size)
- Cleaning supplies (no-ammonia all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergent, dishwasher soap)
- New, unopened packages of athletic socks – crew or low cut – and boys’ and girls’ underwear
- Personal hygiene items for boys and girls (deodorant, hair supplies, bar soap, toothpaste/toothbrushes, body lotion, etc.)
- Gift cards to grocery and retail stores (Target, Wal-Mart,), restaurants/coffee shops
- Movie, bowling, skiing or swimming passes or tickets to sporting events, concerts or plays
- Arts and crafts items (yarn, beads, art paint, construction paper, poster board)
- Board games, puzzles and playing cards
KYJO Enterprises, Inc. is now a featured organization of the Amazon Smile Foundation. Amazon Smile is a charitable extension of Amazon that allows consumers to donate a portion of their purchases to the organization of their choice. Most products that are featured on Amazon are eligible for Amazon Smile with 0.05% of profits being donated. Please visit https://smile.amazon.com to learn more about the program and to sign up to have your Amazon purchases benefit KYJO.