David & Margaret
Youth and Family Services
1350 Third Street
La Verne, CA 91750
Phone: (909) 596-5921
Fax: (909) 596-7583

News

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Receives $200,000 Grant from Weingart Foundation

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services (D&M) in La Verne has received a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Weingart Foundation to support its core programs and assist in its expansion project.

 

“We’re honored to partner with the Weingart Foundation to increase our organizational effectiveness and sustainability,” said D&M Executive Director Charles C. Rich. “We’ve been serving children, youth and families for more than a century, and we continuously strive to enhance the many programs and services we provide. This grant will help ensure that we’re operating at the highest industry standards, increasing our technology security, and most importantly, becoming better equipped and more effective in addressing the needs of our clients, while providing the highest quality of care.”

 

The grant enables D&M to hire a quality improvement specialist to assist with Council on Accreditation preparation, as well as enhance service delivery, maintain program fidelity, and coordinate training programs for staff. An information technology specialist helps assess D&M’s technology capacity, implement recommendations, and support the roll-out of an improved health records program. Both positions help insure the agency’s compliance with applicable industry standards and regulations.

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Welcomes New Development Director

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services (D&M) in La Verne has named Michael Urquidez as its new Development Director to helm the agency’s capital campaign. He brings 15 years of nonprofit experience as well as private sector experience in high technology and e-commerce.

An alumnus of the University of La Verne, Urquidez is also familiar with the La Verne community. "I am delighted to be back in La Verne and honored to be associated with David & Margaret Youth and Family Services, a place that brings hope to young people and families," Urquidez said. "Through The Campaign for David and Margaret, the agency is poised to become an even greater resource for solving some of the most challenging problems facing society. I am very excited to be a part of this moment in David & Margaret's history."
 
Urquidez comes to D&M from Claremont Graduate University, where as assistant director of development for annual and major gifts, he managed all aspects of the annual giving program and a major gifts portfolio focused on international alumni and donors. In the course of his tenure with the university, he also served as director of advancement services, senior research analyst, and director of prospect research and management.
 
Prior to that, Urquidez was director of development research at the University of Southern California, where he managed the development research office for the Keck School of Medicine during the wrap-up phase of a $2 billion campaign. He also served as assistant director of development research at Claremont McKenna College. His private sector experience includes CFO for Ubuy, LLC and CEO with start-up firm, MyUSATV, LLC. Urquidez earned his B.A. in English at the University of La Verne and M.A. in Management at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.
 
As part of The Campaign for David& Margaret, the agency is currently developing a 36-unit supportive housing complex for youth transitioning out of foster care and low income families, a new Youth Workforce Training Center, and an endowment fund to provide for future agency needs. 
Kaboom! Volunteers Improve La Verne Kids Lives with Play

La Verne, Calif. – More than 390 kids now have a new opportunity to get the balanced and active play they need so they can thrive. An empty lot was transformed into a kid-designed play space in less than eight hours with the help of more than 200 people from the David & Margaret Youth and Family Services, Disney and Disney Club Penguin, area residents and organizers from KaBOOM!

“For many years, we have wanted to have a playground where the youth we work with would have regular and easy access and where they could creatively play in a more open environment,” says Charles Rich, executive director, David & Margaret Youth and Family Services. “Up until this amazing opportunity we received from KaBOOM! and Disney, it has been cost prohibitive. We can’t say enough about how excited our students and clients were to be a part of building this playground for them.”

A playground is more than a playground. It’s a brain-expander, friend-maker, and muscle-builder. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult. The design is based on children’s drawings created at a special event in March. Their ideas were then incorporated into the final playground design.

Disney Club Penguin, the #1 virtual world for kids, believes that everyone deserves a safe, fun place to play, learn and grow. Since 2007, Club Penguin has donated over $12 million to projects to make the world a better place.

“We’re proud to participate in this playground build and excited to represent our Club Penguin community, which cares deeply about all kids having a safe place to play,” said Chris Heatherly, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Interactive. “A safe place to play whether in the online world or offline enables kids to have the freedom to be creative, use their imaginations and express themselves.”

Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to the goal of ensuring that all children get the balanced and active play they need to thrive because #PlayMatters. The new playground is one of many made possible with support from Disney as part of Magic of Healthy Living, an initiative that partners with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles. By the end of 2015, Disney’s support will bring the magic of play to over 83,000 kids and families.

“Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a healthy and productive adult,” said Kevin Callahan, vice president of community and engagement, Corporate Citizenship at Disney. “Disney is proud to join KaBOOM! and accelerate efforts that move every child to play every day—at home, in school, and in the community. Together, we hope to make places to play more accessible, and inspire kids and families to stay active.”

 

Trustees Unite to Provide School Supplies to Local Children in Need
Source: Voice - University of La Verne Magazine
David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Receives Donation from The Ahmanson Foundation for Residential Cottage Renovation
David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne was recently awarded funding from the Ahmanson Foundation for much-needed renovations in Tarr Cottage, one of its four on-campus group homes for female youth, aged 11-18, from foster care and probation.

 

 “Our cottages have been the heart of the home-like environment we have strived to provide to our residents over the years,” says Executive Director Charles Rich. “A warm, stable and nurturing living and learning environment is integral to their overall growth, recovery and healing process during their time under our care. Our cottages not only serve as a home to our residents, but by model and demonstration, they also serve as a living example of how they might structure their own homes after transitioning independently out of residential care and into the community or an independent living situation.”

 

The cottage, which houses up to 10 older foster youth reaching emancipation age, was built in the 1960s and was in need of extensive bathroom renovations (in each of its five bathrooms), including drainage system updates, along with window and flooring replacement, attic insulation, and remodeling of all 10 bedroom closets. Due to the support of the foundation, the project, which was estimated to take three months to complete, was recently finished. David & Margaret is currently seeking additional foundation support to conduct similar renovations within each of its on-campus cottages, which will enhance the organization’s capacity to provide a home and a comfortable and functional living and learning environment to its residents.

 

The agency also recently broke ground on a permanent supportive housing project called Cedar Springs for youth who are transitioning out of foster care and into independent living. The project will include a 36-unit apartment complex, as well as a warehouse, store, café, and a Youth WorkForce Training Center to help transitional-age youth gain on-the-job skills and become self sufficient.

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services was established in 1910 and serves more than 1,000 clients annually through a comprehensive range of services, including a residentially-based program for adolescent girls, shelter care for adolescent girls, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services,  treatment for learning disabilities, transitional living programs, school- and community-based education and mentoring programs. Additionally, it has a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California for residents who are recovering from substance abuse. 

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Breaks Ground on Expansion Project
 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services formally broke ground Jan. 29 on a project more than seven years in the making – one that will increase by nearly 30 percent the supportive permanent housing available to youth who are transitioning out of foster care and into independence, and make the agency one of the largest supportive communities for former foster youth in Los Angeles County.

“When foster children reach age 18 they become legal adults, begin ‘aging out’ of the foster care system, and are considered transitional age youth,” says Chief Executive Officer Charles Rich. “Without supporting families, they face challenges no youth should have to face alone. Most parents know how hard it is today for a youth to get an education, find a job, make a home and build a family, even with family support. Imagine how much more difficult it is without it!”

The two critical challenges facing these youth are securing safe, affordable housing and gaining workplace skills so they can get and hold a job to support themselves. Without these two resources, they are prey to drugs, crime, violence and homelessness – taking from, rather than adding to, our societal resources.

To help meet these challenges, the agency is creating three new facilities. One is Cedar Springs, which will provide 25 permanent supportive apartment homes for transitional age youth. This “village” will consist of three attractive two-story buildings in a garden-like setting and will feature a community center where residents can train, study, learn, socialize and take part in programs of interest. The facility will be open to placements for youth from Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and Ventura counties.

The project will include a Youth WorkForce Training Center that will provide training opportunities for these youth, who can move toward self-reliance by working and gaining skills in a real store and café. A training lab will provide a place to focus on independent living skills and job readiness with a capacity for up to 20 youth at a time, or 80 to 100 during the course of a week. It will include work stations, computer hook-ups, a smart TV for training videos, and area for books and resource materials, and an office for counseling, training, mentoring or practicing interview skills with video review.

There also will be a Transitional Youth Resource Center in renovated space in an adjacent existing building. It will provide these youth, particularly those living in off campus apartments, a safe place to congregate and “hang out” with their peers. Up to eight supportive staff offices will also be present, allowing staff accessibility to youth for support, coaching and training. It will feature computers for job search, preparation and submission of resumes, applying to colleges or training programs; an areas for resource materials, a lending wardrobe and dressing room to facilitate proper attire for interviews, safe recreational and free time use, and kitchen facilities and meal area, with healthy snacks available.

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services serves more than 1,000 clients annually through a comprehensive range of services, including a residentially-based program for adolescent girls, shelter care for adolescent girls, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services,  treatment for learning disabilities, transitional living programs, school- and community-based education and mentoring programs. Additionally, it has a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California for residents who are recovering from substance abuse.  Joan Macy School, a specialized nonpublic on-grounds school, serves agency residents, as well as students referred from surrounding school districts. 

 

For more information on the Cedar Springs expansion project, contact the David & Margaret Development Department at (909) 596-5921, ext. 3226, or visit www.DavidandMargaret.org.

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Breaking ground of David & Margaret Youth and Family Services’ expansion project (from left) Wells Fargo Bank Vice President  Norma Dominguez, Tri City Mental Health Executive Director Toni Navarro, Los Angeles county Department of Mental Health Director Dr. Marvin Southard, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich Chief Deputy Kathryn Barger Leibrich, David & Margaret Chief Executive Officer Charles Rich, A Community of Friends Chief Executive Officer Dora Gallo, Enterprise Community Partners Vice President Jeff Schaffer, and Los Angeles County community Development Commission Director of Economic and Housing Development Corde Carrillo.

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Fund Raiser to Feature Author Tracy McMillan

Tracy McMillan, an author, television writer, relationship expert – and former foster child – will be the guest speaker at Notes of Love, the annual fund raiser for David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne. She will speak on how being a foster child shaped her life, and this year, proceeds from the event will benefit the agency’s programs for youth who are transitioning out of foster care and preparing for independence. Notes of Love will be held Friday, Oct. 17, 6-10 p.m. at Hillcrest in La Verne.

McMillan is known for the 2011 viral blog post "Why You're Not Married," which for two years was the most-viewed article on Huffington Post. She also wrote a book based on the piece, "Why You're Not Married...Yet." Her screenwriting credits include Mad Men, Necessary Roughness, Chase, Life on Mars, and The United States of Tara. She won the 2010 Writers Guild of America Awards for Dramatic Series for Mad Men, along with other writers of the series.

As a relationship expert, McMillan has made numerous television and radio appearances, including as a matchmaker on the NBC dating reality show Ready for Love, as well as The Today Show, Katie, Bethenny, Dr. Drew's Lifechangers, and Oprah's Super Soul Sunday.

McMillan is the author of a memoir, "I Love You and I'm Leaving You Anyway," and the forthcoming debut novel, "You'll Know It When You See It," to be published by Gallery in 2015.

Notes of Love will also feature the popular local cover group The Ravelers. It will include a gourmet meal and a silent auction, as well as an exciting announcement about changes that will benefit both the agency and the communities it serves.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.DavidandMargaret.org and are priced at $100 for an individual, $175 for a pair, $325 for a half table (four tickets) and $625 for a full table (eight tickets). Sponsorships are available that include tickets and advertising in the program booklet; silent auction donations are welcomed as well and will be acknowledged in the program booklet. For more information, contact Publicity Coordinator Julie Griffith at GriffithJ@DavidandMargaret.org or (909) 596-5921 ext. 3180.

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services serves more than 1,000 clients annually through a comprehensive range of services, including a residentially-based program for adolescent girls, shelter care for adolescent girls and boys, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services, treatment for learning disabilities, a transitional living program, school- and community-based education and mentoring programs. Additionally, it has a chemical program that is certified by the State of California for residents who are recovering from substance abuse. The Joan Macy School, a specialized nonpublic on-grounds school, opened in 1989 and serves agency residents, as well as students referred from surrounding school districts.

Community Leaders Join Board of Directors

 

Three local community leaders bring a wealth of business and philanthropic experience to their new positions as members of the Board of Directors at David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne.

Sabina Sullivan is office manager at RCS Construction, Inc., of La Verne. She was an environmental scientist and regulatory specialist at Bechtel Environmental in Norwalk, and prior to that, she worked in advertising at Cardfiles Systems in Beverly Hills and as a project data base coordinator at Southern California Edison. Sullivan earned a bachelor’s in International Agriculture Business Management at Cal Poly Pomona. She is a past president of the David & Margaret Auxiliary and, among her many volunteer interests, is an usher at Pasadena Playhouse and a life member of Archeological Survey Association of Southern California.

Amanda Thompson was vice president and branch manager at US Bank branches in Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas and Los Angeles before arriving at the La Verne branch in 2012. She got her start in finance with Foothill Independent Bank, building on her bachelor’s in business administration from University of Phoenix. She is a member of the La Verne Rotary Club and a past Relay for Life sponsor chair.

Arun Tolia has 40 years’ experience as a business owner, and his latest venture, Investors TEAM Realty, Inc., opened its doors in La Verne last year. He has been a member of the La Verne Chamber of Commerce for 15 years and served as a Board member for more than nine years, including a year as chair. Tolia is an active committee member of the Good Samaritan Fund for Hillcrest and is chair of Hillcrest’s Business Advisory Committee.  He is past chairman of the San Gabriel Valley Legislative Coalition of Chambers and currently serves on the County of Los Angeles Oversight Board. He lives in La Verne with his wife, Vanita, and has four children and six grandchildren.

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services serves more than 1,000 clients annually through a comprehensive range of services, including a residentially-based program for adolescent girls, shelter care for adolescent girls and boys, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services, treatment for learning disabilities, a transitional living program, school- and community-based education and mentoring programs. Additionally, the agency has a drug & alcohol program that is certified by the State of California for residents who are recovering from substance abuse. The Joan Macy School, a specialized nonpublic on-grounds school, opened in 1989 and serves agency residents, as well as students referred from surrounding school districts.

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Forming New Community Volunteer Membership Group

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne would like to invite you to help establish a grassroots organization that will support special projects and fund-raising efforts for the clients of the agency. Opportunities to become part of this groundbreaking organization will include: creating the mission statement, electing officers, becoming an officer, developing the by-laws, naming the organization, establishing membership criterion, attending periodic meetings, hosting events, and becoming an advocate for the most at-risk children, youth and families in our community.

 

For more than 100 years, the agency has been providing hope, transforming lives and empowering children, youth and families through culturally diverse services that foster emotional, educational, spiritual and identity development.

 

David & Margaret has a successful track record of providing more than 1,000 clients annually a comprehensive range of services. The agency provides a residentially based program and shelter care for adolescent girls, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services, family preservation and support, treatment for learning disabilities, a transitional living program, and school- and community-based education and programs.  Also offered is shelter care for adolescent boys and girls who are in the country without legal documentation and without an accompanying parent/guardian. Additionally, there is a chemical dependency program certified by the State of California for residents who are recovering from substance abuse.

 

Names of interested persons will be taken until Friday, April 19, and an information meeting will be scheduled shortly thereafter. Tell your friends! Anyone interested in becoming a member should contact Volunteer/Mentor Coordinator Cece Ross at (909) 596-5921, x3311 or ConcepcionR@DavidandMargaret.org.

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services to Host Training to Combat Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services will host a one-day session designed to enlighten, empower and charge attendees with hope as they learn effective approaches to fight the commercial exploitation of children in their own communities.

 

The training features Carissa Phelps, who along with her team is renowned in training on issues pertaining to at-risk youth. Phelps was a runaway and a victim of sexual exploitation at age 12. She went to juvenile hall, but eventually beat the odds and earned law and business degrees from UCLA. Phelps founded and is CEO of Runaway Girl, Inc., which is conducting the program.

 

The class will be held Tuesday, August 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the agency’s campus, 1350 Third St., La Verne, and is free to community members. To register, visit www.carissaphelps.com/training or call J. Allen at (801) 850-3903.

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services serves more than 1,000 clients annually through a comprehensive range of services. These include: a residentially based program for adolescent girls, shelter care for adolescent boys and girls, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services, family preservation and support, treatment for learning disabilities, a transitional living program, school- and community-based education, mentoring programs. David & Margaret also provides shelter care for adolescent boys who are picked up in the country without legal documentation and without an accompanying parent/guardian, and a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California which provides therapy for residents who are recovering from substance abuse.

 

Mentors Provide a Loving Presence for Girls in Foster Care at David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization, and David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne is no exception. During 2012, 110 volunteers and mentors donated 3,400 hours of their energy, time and expertise to the agency, which is best known for its residential foster care program for girls ages 11-18.

Many of these girls have not had a stable, caring adult presence in their lives, and that is where mentors come in. D&M’s Mentoring Program is designed to match qualified, trained and vetted mentors with youth in need, who are at risk and may have experienced neglect, abuse or homelessness. January is National Mentors Month, which recognizes and celebrates the contributions of mentors.

“Everything these young adults have to do in order to accomplish just daily progress is so different and more difficult from that which children in ‘normal’ homes with a family to help them are able to accomplish,” says Janisse Wilkins, who has been mentoring for just over a year. “Moving from one foster home to another can create huge obstacles in these children’s education, and each day that is lost, is a day they will not get back.

“Once they begin the downward spiral of losing time in education, emotional development, and the ability to trust or bond with adults and others, the spiral just doesn’t stop. If we can reach out and offer our hand to help them up I believe we can make a difference in a cycle that without our help, is leading them to nowhere, without the necessary skills required to help them survive and lead a positive, productive life.”

Wilkins, who has no children of her own, relies on advice from friends and family when dealing with her teenage mentee. “I call my mother and sister and ask them, how do I respond in this instance?,” she says with a chuckle. “How do I deal with this? Am I being too hard on her, or too lenient? How do I handle this without alienating her?”

Although the time requirement for the mentors in the program is eight hours per month, Wilkins often carves out as much as five times that much from her life, which includes a demanding job covering most of Southern California as strategic account representative for Barnes Distribution, a business of MSC Industrial Supply.

“There is a great need for mentors who will give time to the children who are being raised in group foster care homes,” she says. “This need is so great, yet so unpublicized, and I was astonished to find there was a home in my community where my involvement might truly make a difference in someone’s life. It takes a village to raise these kids, and we need more villagers.”

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services serves more than 1,000 clients annually through a comprehensive range of services, including a residentially-based program for adolescent girls, shelter care for adolescent girls and boys, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services, treatment for learning disabilities, a transitional living program, school- and community-based education and mentoring programs. Additionally, it has a chemical program that is certified by the State of California for residents who are recovering from substance abuse. The Joan Macy School, a specialized nonpublic on-grounds school, opened in 1989 and serves agency residents, as well as students referred from surrounding school districts.

For more information on mentoring and volunteering at David & Margaret, contact Cece Ross at (909) 596-5921 ext. 3311 or at ConceptionR@DavidandMargaert.org.

CAPTION

David & Margaret youth mentor Jannise Wilkins and her rescue dog, Pete.

A Classic Fund Raiser Benefits David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

 

Life hasn’t yet handed 9-year-old Megan Hakopian many lemons. So she asked her mom to buy her some, then she made lemonade, opened a stand and donated the profits to charity.

This is the third year that the 4th grader has raised funds for David & Margaret Youth and Family Services, the La Verne-based nonprofit agency that provides vital services to youth and families in distress. “My dad does computer work there,” she explains. (Dad is Andy Hakopian, president of Netsmart Systems, Inc., also in La Verne. Netsmart hosts the Website of Joan Macy School on the David & Margaret campus.) “He took me there and I wanted to do something for them with all the money I make” from the lemonade stand. Or rather, lemon-“aid,” as she styles it.

As a surprise last year for the young philanthropist, her grandfather built a sturdy, 6-foot-tall covered stand out of two-by-fours, painted it yellow and green, and included a slate on the front so Megan could customize the “signage.” It is even mounted on casters, so it can easily be rolled out of the family garage and into its place of business at the end of the driveway.

 Their location on busy Baseline Road near Emerald Avenue ensures a good flow of traffic, such as the one that drew thirsty visitors during one hot weekend recently. How has business been? “Awesome!” she exclaims with a bright smile.

Megan has donated more than $300 over the past two years, and she is hoping to beat that total this year with two or three more lemonade stand Saturdays. Watch for the dates on David & Margaret’s Facebook page.

“We’re very grateful for all the support we get,” said David & Margaret Executive Director Charles Rich. “We appreciate that young people like Megan are getting involved and learning to give back to their community from an early age.”

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services has a successful track record of providing more than 1,000 clients annually with a comprehensive range of services. It provides a residentially-based program and shelter care for adolescent girls, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services, family preservation and support, treatment for learning disabilities, a transitional living program, and school- and community-based education and programs.

The 102-year-old agency also offers shelter care for adolescent boys who are in the country without legal documentation and without an accompanying parent/guardian. Additionally, it has a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California for residents who are recovering from substance abuse. For more information on services and programs, call (909) 596-5921or visit www.DavidandMargaret.org.

 

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Helps Self Injurers Break the Cycle

When you think of the phrase “self injurer,” do you think of: a) a “drama queen” seeking attention, b) someone who is suicidal, or c) someone who is just plain crazy?

 

How about: d) none of the above?

There is no “typical” person who performs self injury, which can be as varied as cutting, scratching, picking or burning the skin, pulling or ripping skin or hair, bruising, breaking bones, or swallowing toxic substances. “Maybe 10 years ago you could pinpoint a self injurer, but now it could be anybody – boy or girl, man or woman,” says Caylin Blake, therapist for the innovative Self-Injury Program at David & Margaret Youth and Family Services. ”It’s no longer just the loner teenage girl.”

The program, established and directed by Director of Residential Services Andrew Levander, LMFT, for the adolescent girls in the agency’s residential program, offers a variety of treatments that concentrate on treating the underlying causes.

“There are so many layers to self injury,” Blake says. “The most common cause is that it feels better than whatever else is going on. It’s kind of like a distraction, a way to take control of what is happening. These girls are traumatized and it’s a way to focus on the pain caused by self-injuring rather than pain related to trauma that is not understood. Emotions can be so overwhelming that physical pain can be easier to handle.” However, it usually – and paradoxically – is a means to avoid suicide, rather than a prelude to it.

Because self injury tends to take place in private, there are no truly reliable statistics on it, unless the individual is being treated for a related condition such as depression or anxiety. However, research suggests that it can start as early as age 7 and most often begins during adolescence. “If a teen girl is using drugs, it’s something she’d get rehab for,” Blake says. “With self injury, she’s usually expected to just grow out of it.”

The girls in the current eight-week Self Injury Program report beginning around age 10 and have resorted to tools such as box cutters, razors and broken glass to cut themselves. One said she uses pencil erasers to give herself burns, while another girl said, “I prefer to do it in the shower for easy clean up.”

What triggers such behavior? For many, it’s a coping mechanism, a way to feel in control of their bodies and lives or to relieve stress and pressure. A 12-year-old participant says she self injures “when I’m away from my family and when I’m supposed to go home, but my social worker changes her mind,” while a 14-year-old says she does it, “when anything goes wrong, like Mom yelling or my getting a D on a test, or when spontaneous change happens.” A 17-year-old simply says,” When I’m hurt beyond measure.”

The David & Margaret program uses cognitive behavior therapy and relationship building to try to break the cycle of trigger and injury, Blake explains. “They write their sabotaging thoughts on cards, and for each one they create a response card. For example: ‘It’s my fault that I was abused,’ and ‘No it’s not, I was only 5 years old.’” This helps teach them to combat the triggering thought. They also pledge to perform some other activity before considering self injuring, such as walking around the David & Margaret campus, calling their mother, or drawing a picture. Often, this will distract them enough to ease the impulse to self-injure.

Affirmation is an important part of the program, Blake adds. “The girls get a certificate if they remain injury free for a period of time, such as a week.” This is a tremendous milestone, as many participants report self injuring as often as several times a day.

“David & Margaret took me from a horrible home and I learned to be happy without being guilty,” says a 16-year-old participant. “Group (therapy) helps me express the way I’m feeling and it gives me options and coping skills.”

“In group, I’ve learned that there are other ways to cope,” a 14-year-old participant adds. “Even though losing my sharp objects was forcing me not to cut, it was actually good. Group gives me so much support because other people struggle with this and I’m not alone.”

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services serves more than 1,000 clients annually through a comprehensive range of services. These include: a residentially based program for adolescent girls, shelter care for adolescent boys and girls, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services, family preservation and support, treatment for learning disabilities, a transitional living program, school- and community-based education, mentoring programs. David & Margaret also provides shelter care for adolescent boys who are picked up in the country without legal documentation and without an accompanying parent/guardian, and a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California which provides therapy for residents who are recovering from substance abuse.

For more information on the Self Injury Program, contact Andrew Levander, LMFT, at (909) 596-5921 ext. 3191, or at LevanderA@DavidandMargaret.org.

Learning Enhancement Center Looks to Students for Help

What do you do when you have a program that you know from decades of experience helps improve the lives of individuals with learning challenges, but you lack the all-important clinical proof?

 “We’re trying to research the connection between motor, auditory and visual processing skills and how they impact academic challenges” says Lydia McClellan, program manager of the Learning Enhancement Center (LEC) at David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne.  “There aren’t many places that do what we do. We’re not main stream, like Sylvan or Kumon, so people don’t know us. They’re tutoring programs and we’re not.”

Since 1990, the LEC has helped hundreds of children and adults turn learning disabilities into abilities by training their brains to accurately and effectively take in information, process it, and respond appropriately.

People come to the program when their child – or they themselves, for that matter – become frustrated with poor reading, comprehension, or note-taking abilities, poor attention span and memory issues, or coordination and organization concerns that have not responded to more mundane treatments. Their problems may stem from eyes that are not tracking properly, difficulty recognizing different sounds, or issues with fine-motor control, to name just a few of the many skills that are developed at the LEC.

Each client is assessed to evaluate his or her visual, auditory and motor skills. Twice a week, half-hour sessions are then customized with activities that carefully progress the client through normal developmental stages. Their skills are assessed after each six-month interval of treatment and at the end of the program. The average completion time is 18 to 22 months and results typically include improved reading, writing and math skills, attention span, concentration, memory, organizational skills and ability to follow instructions.

Originally created to support David & Margaret’s residential program for adolescent girls, the program quickly rolled out to the community at large. The proof of its success decorates the walls of its offices: dozens of framed letters of testimonial and photos of smiling “graduates” and parents. But those aren’t enough to influence donors to provide much-needed program funding, or to support an effective marketing effort.

So the LEC reached out to the SOURCE program at Claremont McKenna College and its wealth of knowledge and resources. SOURCE was created in 2005 to allow its students to work with local nonprofits like David & Margaret, which helps the organizations increase their community impact while enhancing the college’s student development.

“We hadn’t encountered anything like the LEC,” explains SOURCE Lead Consultant Saumya Lohia, a senior at Claremont McKenna College. “Literature somewhat addresses the connection between motor abilities and helping to decrease, say, Attention Deficit Disorder, but doesn’t validate it entirely because of the particular way the LEC addresses learning disabilities.” So Lohia and her team of consultants turned to the experts at the Claremont Colleges in such areas as cognitive neuroscience, child psychology and statistical analysis.

“There is a pool of researchers in and around the college looking at the pre- and post-assessment tests given by the LEC to check visual, motor and auditory abilities. It’s not the standard evaluation, where you ask the student to check off boxes. It’s a unique evaluation for a unique program.”

After a couple of months of data crunching, Lohia and her team will present their results to the LEC for consideration. “That will lead to improved grant requests and better marketing,” says LEC’s McClellan. “We’ll be able to get this program out to the community and more effectively show that it really works.”

The Learning Enhancement Center at David & Margaret Youth and Family Services has offices in La Verne and Pasadena. For more information, call (909) 593-0089 or visit the Website at www.DavidandMargaret.org.

David & Margaret Foster Youth Chill Out with Snowboarding Program

 

Eskimos supposedly have 52 different words for “snow,” but is one of them “opportunity”?

            For the past nine years, David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne has been one of the local social service agencies with whom the Vermont-based Chill Snowboard Program has partnered to provide a unique opportunity to youth in group homes and foster care. Many of these youth struggle with drugs, violence, excessive anger, and depression; some are from the juvenile justice system.

In other words, they face a multitude of challenges just to get through the day. So what appeal could a six-week program that teaches them to snowboard possibly have for David & Margaret’s participating teenage foster children?

“It’s so important for kids who don’t necessarily do well in school to see that they can do well in other things,” says Foster Family Program Manager Deena Robertson. “It helps kids who haven’t connected to school connect to something.”

            Chill, which is free to the youth, picks up participants at designated locations throughout the region – David & Margaret is one of them – and, once or twice a week, buses them (and their chaperones) to local ski areas. There, instructors and chaperones help challenge and motivate them to achieve goals they never thought possible. In addition to snowboards, the kids are given everything they need, including snow-worthy clothing, lift tickets and lessons.

            But beyond the cool gear and bus rides, Chill helps these youth look forward - to see beyond the circumstances of today – and encourages them to focus on positive alternatives for the future. The bus rides feature weekly themes that serve as the anchor for the youth development piece of the program, while the sport of snowboarding serves as the vehicle, creating profound and impactful teaching moments. “The themes include patience, persistence, responsibility, courage, respect, and pride,” Robertson says. “They talk about it, work on it. The kids hate that at first, but they come to really love it.”

            So, maybe there is room for one more definition of “snow,” after all.

Joan Macy School: The Best-Kept Secret in Education

 

If you Google “schools in La Verne CA,” you’ll find lots of options: the six campuses in Bonita Unified School District, as well as various church-affiliated and other private schools. Curiously, one you will not find listed is one of La Verne’s most highly regarded: Joan Macy School, a nonpublic school for girls in grades 1 through 12, located on the grounds of David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne.

 

“We’re the best-kept secret in education,” says Maricela Duran, who taught language arts for six years at Joan Macy School before becoming its director of education in 2003. “Kids come and renew their desire to learn; they think, ‘Wow, here is someone who understands me.’ Graduation becomes attainable.”

 

Its students are referred from their home school districts – most often Bonita, Pomona, West Covina, Azusa, Charter Oak, and Norwalk La Mirada – when a particular student needs a more intensive, focused, alternative setting. Usually, this is the result of learning difficulties or behavioral issues.

 

“There is often a lot of resistance from the girls at first, but we’re very consistent with our standards and expectations,” Duran says. “Students surprise themselves when they meet those standards.”

 

Students are taught in small classes by seasoned special-education teachers, most of whom have been at the school between 15 and 20 years. “Most left public schools and enjoy having freedom to try new things” to engage their students, Duran adds. The student-to-teacher ratio at Joan Macy School is a maximum of 6 to 1, with no more than 12 students per classroom.

 

One of those teachers is Mary Fankhauser, who has taught English, history, and a variety of electives at Joan Macy School for 14 years. In 2003, she was named a La Verne Teachers of the Year.

 

“It’s so rewarding to assist students who have had difficulty in the public school setting, and watch that student go from someone who dislikes school to a student who likes to learn,” Fankhauser says. “Many students say our school is the first place they have ever been successful. Our small class sizes allow us to give students individualized help and get to know them as unique young ladies. Every day, I see a teen who was considered ‘at risk’ of failing get excited about her grades, and see progress in earning credits toward her diploma.”

 

Parents see the difference in their girls, too. Janie R.’s 17-year-old daughter has been a Joan Macy student since 8th grade, when she was referred from her public school in Pomona. The girl has learning and behavioral difficulties stemming from health issues.

 

“She has some learning disabilities and got off track with thinking that boys were the most important thing,” Janie says. “She had IEPs (individualized education plans) at her home district, but I told the district that I was concerned about her concentration at school. Joan Macy is a smaller school with more one-on-one interaction, so her grades are up and she’s not concentrating on other things.

 

“The teachers at Joan Macy spend lots of time with her. They really work with her because she’s very introverted. Her teachers know how to deal with her issues,” which include ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, Janie adds. “In public school, I couldn’t know if she was actually doing the work, or if she was just getting pushed out of the class.”

 

Because of her disabilities, Janie’s daughter will be able to attend Joan Macy School until age 21 to receive assistance with life skills training, such as how to research a career, write a resume, and get and hold a job. “She wants to become a veterinarian, or at least work with animals as a technician,” Janie says.

 

For more information on Joan Macy School, call (909) 596-8492 or visit the school’s Website at www.JoanMacySchool.org.

 

Special Interest in Special Education Runs in the Family

Scratch the surface of a kid with special needs and you’ll find … well, a child with needs like any other.

“They’re people too,” says Monica Kirk, resource specialist at Joan Macy School on the campus of David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne. “They need love and understanding like everyone else. It’s rewarding to help them take baby steps to integrating into the community; a lot of our kids don’t know how.”

Monica’s interest in special education was sparked by her mother’s involvement in it. In fact, for many years they both worked at Joan Macy School; her mother, Flossie Jackson, began there in 1989 as a teacher assistant. Monica followed seven months later as a behavior assistant, helping students who were having trouble staying focused in the classroom. Flossie retired four years ago, but her daughter has been there for 22 years and is still going strong.

“When the girls would figure out from a family photo she had on her desk that she and I were related, they were very curious,” Monica remembers. “They wanted to know about our relationship, why I didn’t call her ‘Mom’ at work, and asked about our family. We got to model good family behaviors for them.”

Monica became a resource specialist after earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology and social work in 2001. She serves as a counselor, sits in on Individualized Education Plan sessions, is administrator when the education director (principal) is out, and enrolls David & Margaret residents – at-risk adolescent girls – in local schools.

“I help smooth the bumpy road to public middle and high school,” Monica says of her work with the David & Margaret girls. “I’ll go to the schools at break and lunch and just let the girls see me and know I’m a resource for them. I’ve built quite a good relationship with the district and schools, which helps them understand our girls a little better, too.”

She contemplated a career shift to social work after earning her degree, “but I love Joan Macy School because every day is different. And the girls are so loving.”

Joan Macy School was established in 1989 as a specialized, non-public school for the residential program at David & Margaret. Since then, it has expanded its programs to also serve community students in grades 1 through 12 who are referred by their local school districts. For more information, call (909) 596-3173 or email JoanMacySchool@DavidandMargaret.org.

 

John Pusztai: Much More Than Joan Macy School's Token Male Teacher

John Pusztai jokes that he’s the token male staff member at Joan Macy School, a specialized nonpublic school located on the grounds of David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne. “My role in life has been that of a good-man figure for kids who haven’t really had that,” he says, in addition to his formal duties of teaching math and woodshop.

His own post-secondary education began with what was perhaps an ill-considered bachelor’s in zoology from Pomona College. “In college you don’t really know what means to have a career in a field you like,” he says. “I found out that zoologists go out in the field alone and collect animals, and I didn’t want that.” His next step was a master’s in education from Claremont Graduate University, inspired by teachers he’d had “who weren’t that good.” He taught for several years before Don Lugo High School opened in Chino in 1976, when he joined its staff as science teacher and department chair.

Along the way Pusztai added a master’s in marriage and family therapy to his academic degrees and became a licensed marriage and family therapist. “In 1972 I became a Christian after years as an atheist, and people kept coming to me with relationship questions that I didn’t have answers for, so I got licensed. I’ve always liked helping people; I remember that even in elementary school I had girl friends who talked to me about their boyfriends. That’s where the therapy idea started.”

The lure of a partnership in a large private therapy practice wasn’t enough to pull him away from his love of teaching – at least, not full time; he did both part time. Along the way, he developed a peer counseling program at Don Lugo High School and a therapy program for pregnant minors at a continuation high school. The classes concentrated on communication skills , relationships and parenting. In order to breakdown barriers between people, everyone typically sat on the floor and talked. Several times a week, just to keep things light, he had everyone do The Chicken Dance before class. “Most students couldn’t tell you what they learned, but they knew they were different, and had a better understanding of people” Pusztai says, making friends outside their normal cliques.

“I’m drawn to difficult kids,” explains “Mr. P,” as he’s known to students at Joan Macy School. “Most people don’t look at me and see a kid who grew up in the barrio with gang members, they see me as a middle-class college professor. Around middle school and high school, my Hispanic friends started hanging with a gang and I became the hot-shot student athlete. At home we were buddies, but at school we had to be different. So I can relate to kids who struggle.”

In 1998, the then-principal at Joan Macy School asked him to teach psychology during the school’s summer session. He was near retirement age for public-school teaching but hadn’t considered giving teaching up. “After teaching a few summers at Joan Macy, Maricela (Duran, education director at JMS) asked me to teach here when I retired. Woodworking is one of my hobbies and she said, ‘Can you do math and woodshop?’ So I came here.

“What I like about Joan Macy School is that I get to work directly with kids. Many have had a bad experience and don’t try. A lot of times they’ve had gaps in their education because they’ve been in so many (foster) placements. I help them connect what they have learned.

“These girls come from difficult homes and backgrounds, but they come here and know that somebody cares.”

Joan Macy School was established in 1989 as a specialized, non-public school for the residential program at David & Margaret. Since then, it has expanded its programs to also serve community students in grades 1 through 12 who are referred by their local school districts. For more information, call (909) 596-3173 or email JoanMacySchool@DavidandMargaret.org.

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Receives Kaiser Foundation Grant
 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Receives Grant from

Kaiser Foundation Hospital – Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services (David & Margaret) in La Verne has received a grant from Kaiser Foundation Hospital – Fontana and Ontario Medical Centers in support of the agency’s Youth Workforce Training Program (YWTP), which provides on-the-job training to transitional age youth, ages 18-24, who are preparing to transition out of foster care to adulthood.

 

The YWTP provides occupational training, work experience, job placement, and life skills training to facilitate development of work habits and skills that are essential for success in the workplace. “This is a tremendous opportunity for these youth to be able to learn on-the-job skills they might not otherwise learn and use them to help them become self-sufficient. We are grateful that Kaiser sees the wisdom in investing in our youth who have been in foster care,” said David & Margaret’s Executive Director, Charles Rich.

 

"Kaiser Permanente has a social mission to care for the communities we serve. It is through the work of strong partners like David & Margaret Youth and Family Services that we achieve that mission," said Jennifer Resch-Silvestri, Senior Director of Public Affairs and Brand Communications for Kaiser San Bernardino County Area.

 

About David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

Founded in 1910 as an orphanage, David & Margaret serves more than 1,000 clients annually. It provides a wide array of services including a residential program for adolescent girls, foster family and adoption assistance, and programs focused on mental health, learning disabilities, and mentoring. David & Margaret also includes a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California. The Joan Macy School, a non-public school for grades 1-12, provides special education for some agency residents and students from area school districts.    

 

David & Margaret is currently expanding with a new 36-unit supportive housing complex for transitional age youth and low income families. Also under construction is a Youth Workforce Training Center that will include a not-for-profit retail outlet and café whose proceeds will support David & Margaret’s mission. For more information contact Development Director, Michael Urquidez, at UrquidezM@DavidandMargaret.org or at (909) 596-5921, ext. 3246.

 

About the Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Program

Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit program is committed to improving the health of the communities it serves and reducing health disparities through community partnerships with the safety net of community clinics, public health departments, public hospitals, and other agencies. Community Benefit also helps increase access to quality health care and coverage, regardless of income, through charity care and charitable coverage programs; supports community groups to inspire people to make positive changes for health through its Healthy Eating Active Living programs and Community Health Initiatives; and shares its medical knowledge, expertise and research to help Southern California people live healthier lives. For more information, visit http://community.kp.org.

 

Kaiser Permanente’s San Bernardino County Service Area has provided comprehensive, affordable health care to the Inland Empire for 70 years and serves approximately 450,000 members. The San Bernardino County Service Area includes the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Fontana and Ontario, and medical offices in Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Colton, Claremont, Montclair, Chino, San Bernardino, Victorville, Redlands and Upland.

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Receives Ludwick Family Foundation Grant
 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services (David & Margaret) in La Verne recently received a grant from the Glendora-based Ludwick Family Foundation in support of the agency’s Youth Workforce Training Center Lab, currently under construction as part of a new Youth Workforce Training Center (YWTC) that will benefit youth who are transitioning out of foster care and into independence.

 

The grant will support the complete construction of the YWTC Lab, and equipment for the lab, including computers. The training lab will become a central location for the agency’s transitional age youth, males and females ages 18-24, to apply for jobs and/or educational advancement opportunities. Upon completion, the YWTC will also include the agency’s expanded retail store and a new café, and will provide up to 36 paid job training internships annually. The agency is continuing to pursue additional funding opportunities to support the YWTC’s complete construction through its capital campaign, The Campaign for David & Margaret.

 

“We are very gratified that the Ludwick Family Foundation sees the value in helping those in less fortunate circumstances become productive and contributing members of society,” said David & Margaret’s Executive Director, Charles Rich. “This is a huge investment!"

 

 “The Foundation is thrilled to contribute to and be part of this worthwhile project. We all look forward to seeing it come to fruition,” said Ludwick Family Foundation Program Officer Trista Campbell.

 

About David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

Founded in 1910 as an orphanage, David & Margaret serves more than 1,000 clients annually. It provides a wide array of services including a residential program for adolescent girls, foster family and adoption assistance, and programs focused on mental health, learning disabilities, and mentoring. David & Margaret also includes a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California. The Joan Macy School, a non-public school for grades 1-12, provides special education for some agency residents and students from area school districts.    

 

David & Margaret is currently expanding with a new 36-unit supportive housing complex for transitional age youth and low income families. A Youth Workforce Training Center, including a not-for-profit retail outlet and café, is also under construction. All proceeds from the Youth Workforce Training Center will support David & Margaret’s mission. For more information contact Development Director Michael Urquidez at UrquidezM@DavidandMargaret.org or at (909) 596-5921, ext. 3246.

 

About the Ludwick Family Foundation

Founded in 1990 by Arthur and Sarah Ludwick, the Ludwick Family Foundation is a philanthropic organization committed to assisting a broad array of groups that are working to make a positive difference in the world.

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Receives 2 In-N-Out Burger Foundation Grants
 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services (David & Margaret) in La Verne has received two grants from the In-N-Out Burger Foundation. One grant will support programs to assist with victim service resources to reduce the impact of commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth (CSEC) and substance abuse. The second grant support the construction of David & Margaret’s new Youth Workforce Training Center (YWTC), currently under construction.

 

CSEC is defined as criminal practices that demean, degrade, and threaten the physical and psycho-social integrity of children. UNICEF estimates that a child is being groomed for sexual exploitation every two minutes. David & Margaret’s CSEC programs center on understanding predators, reducing the risk of sexual exploitation, substance abuse, and sexual health. The agency provides stable, safe housing and protection from predators. Clients learn life-skills such as communication, conflict resolution, and anger management, and participate in trafficking and trauma education to enable them to make safe choices to live independent lives.

 

David & Margaret’s YWTC will provide critical support to the agency’s transitional age youth, ages 18-24.  Upon completion, the YWTC will include an expanded retail store, a café, and a workforce training lab, and will provide up to 36 paid job training internships annually. The agency is continuing to pursue additional funding opportunities to support the YWTC’s construction through The Campaign for David & Margaret.

 

“In-N-Out has been a consistent, long-term supporter of our clients and this will provide a significant boost in two critical areas.  Both programs work with getting youth out of unwanted situations and back on track to be able to lead a successful and satisfying life. Our CSEC program are at a critical juncture in helping youth stay out of sexually exploitive situations, and this support will help us move them to the next level,” said David & Margaret’s executive director, Charles Rich.  

 

About David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

Founded in 1910 as an orphanage, David & Margaret serves more than 1,000 clients annually. It provides a wide array of services including a residential program for adolescent girls, foster family and adoption assistance, and programs focused on mental health, learning disabilities, and mentoring. David & Margaret also includes a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California. The Joan Macy School, a non-public school for grades 1-12, provides special education for some agency residents and students from area school districts.    

 

David & Margaret is currently expanding with a new 36-unit supportive housing complex for transitional age youth and low income families. A Youth Workforce Training Center, including a not-for-profit retail outlet and café, is also under construction. All proceeds from the Youth Workforce Training Center will support David & Margaret’s mission. For more information contact Development Director, Michael Urquidez, at UrquidezM@DavidandMargaret.org or at (909) 596-5921, ext. 3246.

 

About the In-N-Out Burger Foundation

The In-N-Out Burger Foundation (the “Foundation”) was established in March 1995 as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. The Child Abuse Foundation’s purpose is to assist children who have been victims of child abuse, and to prevent others from suffering a similar fate. The Child Abuse Foundation supports organizations that provide residential treatment, emergency shelter, foster care, and early intervention for children in need.

 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Adds Yard Sale to Spring Service Day
 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Adding Yard Sale

to Its Annual Spring Service Day on Tuesday, April 5

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services has traditionally held annual Spring and Summer Service Days, when service-minded individuals, service groups and businesses help with projects such as gardening, painting, office work, and so on. (It’s a great opportunity for high school students in need of community service hours.) This year, the agency doing something a little different and holding a yard sale during its Spring Service Day on Tuesday, April 5, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at 1350 Third St., La Verne. You don’t have to work to enjoy the yard sale – everyone is welcome to drop in and browse!

“The object of adding a yard sale is to encourage our neighbors and other community members to come onto our beautiful campus and get to know David & Margaret better,” said Publicity Coordinator Julie Griffith. “Some of the yard sale items will come from our Bargain Boutique, and the rest will be donated by our employees. All of the proceeds will benefit The Campaign for David and Margaret, in support of our $2.7 million capital campaign.”

For more information or to sign up for Service Day, contact Volunteer/Mentor Coordinator Cece Ross at (909) 596-5921, ext. 3311, or ConcepcionR@DavidandMargaret.org.

 

About David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

 

Founded in 1910 as an orphanage, David & Margaret serves more than 1,000 clients annually. It provides a wide array of services including a residential program for adolescent girls, foster family and adoption assistance, and programs focused on mental health, learning disabilities, and mentoring. David & Margaret also includes a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California. The Joan Macy School, a non-public school for grades 1-12, provides special education for some agency residents and students from area school districts.    

 

David & Margaret is currently expanding with a new 36-unit supportive housing complex for transitional age youth and low income families. A Youth Workforce Training Center, including a not-for-profit retail outlet and café, is also under construction. All proceeds from the Youth Workforce Training Center will support David & Margaret’s mission. For more information contact Development Director Michael Urquidez, at UrquidezM@DavidandMargaret.org or at (909) 596-5921, ext. 3246.

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services Wins IKEA Life Improvement Challenge Grant
 

David & Margaret Youth and Family Services in La Verne has been named winner of a 2016 IKEA Life Improvement Challenge grant from IKEA’s Covina store. The Challenge gives IKEA US co-workers the opportunity to nominate a local charity to win an IKEA makeover of a space that helps to improve the lives of others in the local community. Co-workers and customers vote for their favorite charity, and the winner receives an IKEA makeover to help them in the important work they do to improve the lives of others in the local community.

The funds will be used to make over Tarr Cottage, which is home to up to 10 adolescent girls ages 16 through 18 in foster care who are preparing to emancipate. The cottage, built in the 1960s, is one of seven on the agency’s 18.5-acre campus. It was recently partially remodeled, and the IKEA makeover will complete its transformation by updating its furnishings and design to make it a homier, more comfortable place to live. The cottages serve as living examples of how residents might structure their own homes, dorms or apartments upon their transition, and the makeover will increase the agency’s ability to provide the best living environment and example possible.

About David & Margaret Youth and Family Services

David & Margaret, established in 1910, serves more than 1,000 clients annually through a comprehensive range of services, including a residentially-based program for adolescent girls, shelter care for adolescent girls, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services, treatment for learning disabilities, transitional living programs, school- and community-based education and mentoring programs. Additionally, it has a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California for residents who are recovering from substance abuse. Joan Macy School, a specialized nonpublic on-grounds school serves special education students in grades 1-12 from D&M, as well as students referred from surrounding school districts.     

 

D&M is currently building a 36-unity supportive housing complex for youth transitioning out of foster care, as well as for low income families; a new Youth Work Force Training Center; and an endowment fund to provide for future needs of the agency. For more information, contact Development Director Michael Urquidez at (909) 596-5931 ext. 3246 or UrquidezM@DavidandMargaret.org.