A middle school student, Aleah, who participated in the summer Photovoice program said: “Photovoice gave me a safe place to be this summer and pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. I’m not very good with words and I sometimes have a hard time saying stuff because I’m shy, but I’m really appreciative of how much you guys did for us and for the program.”
Faith Laughlin, a senior at Milwaukie High School, said that “PhotoVoice has helped to get me out of my shell and out of a negative mindset by allowing me a place to go to express myself, stay busy and connect with others in the summertime.”
Vibrant Future Youth Coalition, also known as The Unity Club, is a group of youth interested in creating a healthy, encouraging, and all-embracing atmosphere at their High School and in the community. They represent the youth sector of Vibrant Future Coalition, which works to prevent underage drinking and drug use within the North Clackamas community.
Maven, a 17-year-old Latino girl, was missing school frequently because she was having to babysit her niece and nephew while her sister was out partying and then in rehab for meth addiction. Unity Youth Coalition members gave her advice and support and helped her babysit on the weekends and after school. Maven was able to find supportive and non-judgmental peers and adults who genuinely cared about her, while also getting involved in healthy activities so that she does not have to turn to substances and go down the same path as her sister.
Since the Youth Coalition came into existence, the students have done a lot to change their environments. They helped put on Safety Fairs that highlight the dangers of drunk, drugged, and distracted driving. They have submitted public testimony at numerous public forums in regards to prevention legislation, they’ve helped hold community listening sessions, and they have supported and helped each other navigate through some very difficult times. These are only a few examples of the many ways the group works to make each individual, school, and community better, and change lives along the way.
From a client who took our online SymptoPro Fertility Education course: "Everything about our experience with Northwest Family Services has been wonderful! This is actually the 3rd Fertility Awareness course that we have paid for- the other 2 (taken elsewhere) left us confused and frustrated. We're very happy to have found the SymptoPro Program and have loved working with our instructor! The straightforward rules were clearly explained through the lessons, and the textbook was fantastic and easy to understand!"
The following is an email that was sent to us by a client who took our SymptoPro Fertility Education course.
"I really couldn't be more pleased with the education and support we have received by taking the SymptoPro course from Northwest Family Services. My husband and I were very nervous to take the course and attempting NFP for the first time but our fears diminished so quickly when we saw how much constant support and guidance we received throughout the learning process."
The Employer Spotlights provide job seekers with an opportunity to meet Human Resource professionals who are interested in giving back! I got a job because I attended one of those great events! Thanks to NWFS and Clackamas Workforce Partnership for organizing those events :)
THANK YOU NOTE faxed to NWFS:
I wanted to send a very heartfelt (yes, I really feel it right now) THANK YOU for the way your Health Navigator helped me through a very struggling time and went above and beyond to help me and my son, this past year. I’m sorry I haven’t won the lottery so I could show my gratitude with more than just words, but I do have those to give so again, THANK YOU so very much. Love and Hugs, Me and my son.
PS To my navigator: I wish you good health, love, and happiness, and pray that God keeps you safe in all that you do. You are a special gift from God in my eyes and the world is so lucky to have you.
If you doubt that I am not being sincere, just know that every time I try to use the computer I risk having one of those awful migraine headaches to do so . . . thank you so much for being the beautiful young lady that you are. Don’t forget to take care of you as you help others like you do. More Hugs.
NW Family Services should be honored to have you as a representative for their cause. You represent them very, very well.
MANY THANKS for all your help!
Your Job Readiness Workshops are very helpful if you are facing unemployment.
Thanks to the Northwest Promise Project I graduated as a CNA! Certified Nursing Assistant!
NWFS' Northwest Promise Career Coach has been working with a student who is pursuing a career in Medical Office Accounting. The client is a first-generation college student and recently graduated, Spring 2019, from Mount Hood Community (MHCC) with her Accounting Assistant Certificate. The next step in achieving her goal is continuing her education at MHCC to pursue her Accounting Clerk Certificate which she will complete Spring 2020. After she completes training, she will be prepared to work in a Medical Office Accounting position!
NW Promise is a training and job search program created to diversify and strengthen the healthcare industry. Each participant will work with a career coach to explore five career paths before choosing to pursue one. The program will help with tuition, books, materials and other support services, so students can be successful. The program will help them get a job in healthcare after they graduate.
Message for Rob Sellers, my career coach:
I wanted to thank you for both the wonderful classes and for getting back with those test results from the class. I have been feeling better both mentally and physically now that I am active about self-improvement and job searching. Thanks again for what you do!
*Rethinking Careers* is a 24 hr course that uses Cognitive Behavioral Techniques to help individuals manage their thinking, their emotions, and ultimately their actions. Job seekers face discouragement and negativity after knocking doors and not getting positive results, so this course helps them stay positive and use their strengths to present better in front of employers.
The NWFS SymptoPro Fertility Education course has caused us to grow as a couple in ways we didn't necessarily expect. Talking about this topic has prepared us for the future and caused us to joyfully anticipate the process once we're married. It has also caused a lot of discussion about our family planning intentions already. There are a lot of things to know and understanding your body (or your wife's body) is always a good thing.
To Ravin Brown- Parenting Inside Out Instructor
I just had to say THANK YOU! When I first showed to your class I was DREADING it. I didn't think I could possibly learn anything I hadn't already from just simply being a Mommy myself. Boy was I wrong. AND, not only does it help me feel like what I am calling a "Powerful Parent", but it works in every day life situations as an Adult. The roleplay we did for problem solving and effective communication and solutions helped me with dealing with CPS but it also helped me today in an unfortunate event; normally I would get mad and impulsively respond to the drama and instead I blocked the person off my social media and phone, I coached my own emotions and let myself cry and then get angry and then weighed out pros and cons or responding face to face or just letting it go. Then I sought emotional coaching from my Fiancé and my Mother.
So, in summary, I wanted to pay my respects by telling you this story, because what I'm learning is truly improving my life in a way I didn't think was possible. I am so glad God put you in my life as my "Instructor" (not sure what to call it lol), because you have taught me how to control my own emotions and not have a mad outburst.
A letter from a client who received Family Navigation Services from Olga Rodriguez, NWFS family Navigator:
Hello, my name is Romi and I would like to share my story. I was in a financial bind, leaving one job to start a new one and had a week lapse between jobs. I was late on my rent, and an angel, Ms. Olga, called to let me know a former advocate, Amy, asked her to give me a call to see if there was anything she could assist us with. I took a deep breath and knew this was a God sending me a blessing. Ms. Olga came to meet with me. I told her my family dilemma and right away took me to Programa Hispano where I could apply for rent assistance. Ms Olga also took me to food pantries so my family could eat and have clothes. She also helped us with bus tickets so I could get to work. We are so very grateful and blessed to know that there is help from good people who care. Thank you to all caregivers involved in assisting my family. You all saved my heart from breaking and letting my kids down. I am now lifted and in good spirits.
I can't thank you enough Olga and your team of help!!!
Romi and Family
Jenny was a student in our program last school year, and she came to me this year seeking help with transportation. I checked in with her occasionally last year, but she had great grades and attendance, was connected with ongoing counseling services and support, so I didn’t meet with her too often. This school year, her family has had some financial difficulties, and her boyfriend was displaced from his home so her family took him in an are currently supporting him. With two other siblings already, their family is now struggling to support everyone, and as the oldest sister, she has gotten a job to help support everyone. She’s only 16 years old, and has to work about 4 days a week after school, and since both parents work, she has to ride the bus to and from work every day. All she asked was for a month-long bus pass to get to her new job, and after that she would purchase her own bus passes going forward, so I applied for a scholarship through a local foundation to purchase a month pass through Trimet. Instead of just a month pass, they awarded her $100 loaded onto a Youth HOP pass, and I was able to give that to her. She was so surprised at the amount and extremely grateful, and let me know how much of a huge help that will be for her and her family!
Northwest Family Services was honored with a Clackamas County Community 2018 Impact Award for their efforts to address the causes and conditions of poverty. The award was presented by the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners. Northwest Family Services board members, staff, and a community partner are shown in the photo. It is a well deserved honor for all the work this amazing organization does for the greater community.
Iliana, Ericka, and NW Family Serivces,
Thank you all for supporting my education through an IDA account. The education I've gained with your help will serve my family infinitely.
Kelly is a 7th grader at a middle school in Oregon City where Northwest Family Services (NWFS) staff works with high risk students to provide them and their families with much-needed resources. Kelly and her five siblings live with her parents and grandparents in one house. There is little to no money for her to do any extra activities outside of school. The NWFS staff person reached out to the homeless liaison at the school to see if Kelly would be able to get her school softball fee waived so she could participate on the girls' softball team. NWFS heard back that if the mom would fill out the registration form, she would be able to get the fee taken care of. After the registration was taken care of, NWFS heard back from the mom in an e-mail that read, “All done with Kelly's registration! Thank you all so very, very much! You truly have no idea how happy you all have made my Daughter. With all the struggles our family has faced in the last few years, my daughter's beautiful smiles have become increasingly rare. I cannot thank you all enough for allowing us to see her beautiful smile again.”
At the beginning of the school year, a high school counselor referred a student to Molly Martinez, Northwest Family Services' PreventNet School Site Coordinator. The student needed assistance with OHP re-enrollment for herself as well as for her younger sister, so they could continue to see their Trillium therapist. Not knowing much about her background, Molly met with the student to inquire more and found out that she is almost 19 years old, and has been the acting guardian of her 16-year-old sister for several months now. They have no family involved in their lives, and both are currently ‘couch surfing’ at different friends’ houses because they have nowhere else to live. The student had started attending a local alternative high school as a freshman back in 2014, but after some time of spotty attendance, and flying just under the radar, she stopped attending school. The school later found out that the small home that she and her sister were living in at the time with their biological mother and step-father was well-known in the neighborhood for having a large number of unaccompanied youth, as well as various other adults also staying there, and was eventually raided by the police for a number of reasons. The house was lost and they had to find a new location to live, but their biological mother left town and abandoned them, and they opened an investigation against their step-father in which they both were victims. Over this past summer, the sisters resurfaced at the high school, wanting to re-enroll. Since then, they’ve been coming to school daily, working diligently, despite having to care for themselves while also navigating numerous systems. Molly connected them with the school district Student and Family Advocate, who works with homeless and unaccompanied youth and families. She came in to meet with the older sister to help her apply for housing, SNAP benefits, as well as Oregon Health Plan for herself and her sister. Molly got the girls some new clothing through Bloomin’ Boutique in Oregon City, checked in with them weekly to review grades and set academic goals, and even helped them to create resumes and apply to various jobs. The following week, the younger sister came to Molly, ecstatic because she was called in for an interview for a retail position at the local shopping mall. After the interview, she was hired for a part-time position there. Despite being so dauntless and hard-working, there were many days when the older sister came to the counseling office in tears because of all of the stresses and hardships in her life. She’s working daily to secure housing for herself and her sister, filling out applications, managing paperwork, navigating healthcare to schedule appointments and obtain medications, trying to find a job to earn money, as well as trying to do well in school in order to graduate and advance in her life. It's amazing how much both of these girls are dealing with in their personal lives, yet they still manage to attend school and complete work. They often talk about their futures and are finally getting to a place where they feel safe and secure. Molly was able to secure an award of $1200 for each of them for living expenses through Building Blocks for Kids, who support youth who are aging out of foster care. These scholarships helped to ease their financial burden, at least temporarily, so they could focus on school and work towards the futures that they dream about. Looking back, it would have been easy for someone to simply assist them with health insurance and move on, allowing them to slip through the cracks like they had once before. But Molly Martinez of Northwest Family Services saw two bright young girls who were forced to navigate adulthood much too soon, and knew she could do more to help make a difference in their lives and to help them navigate their own lives...
I would like to thank NWFS again for their help in my employment search. I had my phone interview yesterday and it went great. I won't know the results until next week. However, I stood as suggested and took my "confident" stance I learned in class . What I learned in your workshop was invaluable. Even if this job does not come through, after your resume workshop and interview workshop I feel like I have tools to succeed.
Heather, a mother of five children, was initially referred to Yina, a Family Resource Coordinator for Northwest Family Services, a local church. Heather was in immediate need of several resources, she needed a lot of support. The mother was going through financial instability and was at a high risk of losing her home. She assistance to apply for health insurance for her oldest son, help connecting to a mental health provider for her seven-year-old daughter, transportation, food resources, GED classes, parenting and adult education. Yina was there to help there to help navigate complex systems with a highly traumatized family.
The family was successfully connected with resources. The Mom was able to successfully move into a more comfortable home, was connected to mental health services, was informed of GED classes and the registration process, local food pantries, parenting classes and got to apply on health insurance for her son. From chaos to stability, the family is now in a stable and supportive home.
NWFS honored for school partnership
Northwest Family Services CEO Rose Fuller accepted the Growing Great People award from the Gladstone School District for the organization's long-term partnership with the district.
"The nonprofit provides several services in Gladstone schools," said Lennie Bjornsen, director of student and family supports. "Their focus is stabilizing families, providing support and enrichment to at-risk middle school students, and reducing teen drug use."
NWFS provides two Family Resource Coordinators — one at the Gladstone Center for Children & Families and one at Kraxberger Middle School. They serve as social service navigators, helping families connect with resources for housing, jobs, education, transportation and health care.
NWFS's PreventNet program at Kraxberger provides group sessions for at-risk girls and boys as well as the KAOS after-school and summer-enrichment programs, including a soccer camp.
NWFS also funds an alcohol/drug counselor who works one-on-one with secondary students during the school day.
First on the list is to say that Samantha F. of Northwest Family Services is an invaluable resource to all who meet her. The way she interacts with people to ensure that the curriculum of P I O is taken seriously and positively for the families and communities involved is powerful. Much thanks goes out to Samantha for taking the time to be the best resource she can be. Your teachings were well put together and understandable. With your help we all have grown to be better served for our own lives. Having a person such as Samantha F. to guide us as learning individuals was pleasant and welcoming. My thanks and support go to Samantha.
Make sure Samantha is heard and well taken care of, for all the communities sake!
Thank you for the time taken to read this.
They provide essential services to the local community that help the community thrive:)