On March 6, we took some time to celebrate KYJO’s employees with a day of wellness and self-care for Employee Appreciation Day! We brought in massage therapists to treat the KYJO crew to some much-needed rest and relaxation. You can see more photos from the day on our Facebook:
In November 2019, we began our partnership with Cake4Kids. This nonprofit partners with youth-centric organizations like ourselves to provide free cakes and desserts for kids’ birthdays, graduations, and other milestone achievements. Working with over 140 organizations throughout California and Virginia, Cake4Kids’s completely volunteer baking staff bakes over 3,000(!) desserts each year. You can see some of their handiwork in the picture to the left!
KYJO Rock Star Award
This month, we’d like to highlight Ms. Marilyn Cantu’s ability to adapt to change! Marilyn was recently assigned to organize our personnel files, a process she was entirely unfamiliar with. But her organizational skills have already made an impact on our HR department and our electronic monitoring system, Extended Reach. Our licensing analyst said our files are one of the best organized sets they’ve seen this year – which says a lot about how quickly Marilyn was able to pick up this task and succeed! For knocking this assignment out of the park, we’ve chosen to highlight Marilyn as this month’s KYJO Rock Star.
Residential Youth Homes - Highlights
This month we’d like to highlight a special KYJO staff member and a special KYJO resident!
Youth home staff member Anthony Olivares is quick to help our residents and never makes excuses. He truly wants to make an impact in our residents’ lives, which he has done by helping residents build their resumes and learn basic life skills. Because our residents know Anthony cares about them, he has gained their respect – and as a result, Anthony has become a standout member of the KYJO team!
Resident Abigale Mctagart has shown perseverance and resilience through the most trying of times. She is on her way to graduating high school and was recently accepted to Sac State, where we know she’ll continue to succeed. Abigale has grown so much in her time with us, and we’ve been proud to play a part in that growth.
– The KYJO Residential Youth Homes Team
Foster Family Agency - Highlights
Every first Monday of the month, KYJO’s Resource Parents gather for the Resource Parent Support Group. These meetings are led by 2019 Resource Parent of the Year Felicia Carrasco, who started the group because she recognized our resource parents needed a safe space in which to get together, swap stories, share advice, and bond with each other.
The group also mentors new and aspiring resource parents who are learning how to navigate the (sometimes challenging) world of foster parenting. Resource parent or not, all are welcome to attend these monthly meetings. If you’d like more information on the group, contact Felicia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Sienna Curtin, FFA Operations Manager
Mental Health Care - Highlights
Many of our residents experience a phenomenon called psychic numbing. Psychic numbing is a tendency for individuals or groups to “numb” their attention to past and current traumatic experiences, and downplay them if they reoccur (Slovic, 2007). If you hear gunshots and helicopters flying overhead nightly, if that experience is your norm, you can’t worry about it continually. Eventually, your mind downplays the danger and trauma associated with those experiences. Environmental stressors have been known to contribute to trauma, as well as mental illness. However, the ideology of “numbing” provides many individuals an avenue to ignore, rationalize, or internalize these ongoing traumas.
Providing individuals a chance to discuss their experiences in a safe space increases the likelihood that they will work towards healing from their trauma, rather than internalizing it (Gill, 2010). Safe spaces allot the chance for those impacted by trauma to learn positive coping skills that promote healing. But providing a safe space also means acknowledging that an individual may not be ready to process their trauma, and may want to continue their psychic numbing. Overall, “safe spaces mean everyone moves easily without fear.”
– Angie Keys, Mental Health Supervisor
Gill, S. (2010). The therapist as a psychobiological regulator: disassociation, affect attunement, and clinical process. Clinical Social Work Journal, 38(3): 260-268. doi:10.1007/s10615-009-0213-5
Slovic, P., Ph.D. (2007). Psychic Numbing and Genocide. Retrieved on 8 March 2020 from https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2007/11/slovic
Faith or Fear?
Within us live two opposing powers, battling it out for control. Many times, we fail to realize this battle is even happening. The two powers sit dormant until we are presented with a thought or feeling we need to seek assurance for.
Maybe it’s a thought of the future:
- Where will I be in five years?
- What will I be doing with my life?
- Will my life be filled with purpose?
- Will I find happiness?
These thoughts requires you to dig deeper. It’s almost like getting a second opinion … do I fear the unknown, or do I have faith when presented with these questions?
Fear loves to step in whenever you think of the future. Fear will always jump to the front of your mind, unless you choose to feed your faith and start believing in yourself.
Faith is a quiet assurance. It does not have a loud, overwhelming, attention-seeking voice like fear does. Faith finds its voice in your darkest times. It is naturally quiet, but when called upon, it becomes one of the strongest forces known to man. So feed it and use it!