Some of the young people who most need mental health services have been conditioned to avoid them. A new youth-led initiative hopes to use peer outreach to overcome that.

This new collaboration, says VOICES Director Amber Twitchell, is especially timely, as the need for these services continues to mount.

VOICES—an acronym for the organization’s founding name  “Voice Our Independent Choices for Emancipation Support” –is more than 10 years old now. In that time it has welcomed and served hundreds of transition youth, and Twitchell says most of them have stayed in touch.

Peace-maker Linda Sartor Honored

Oct 6, 2016
LInda Sartot

Santa Rosa resident Linda Sartor has traveled to many international hot spots, speaking out for peace, tolerance and understanding.  On Sunday, she was among the four new honorees added to Sebastopol’s Living Peace Wall.  Today, we revisit a 2012 interview in which she reports back on her then-recent visit to war-ravaged Afghanistan.

SSU’s Holocaust Grove as a Teaching Tool

Jun 14, 2016

  The Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Grove on the Sonoma State campus should be more than a reflective space for remembrance, its founders said at a gathering there Tuesday morning:  it can also be an educational resource for young people.

And in the North Bay Report archives, you can also see our 2009 report on the creation of the Memorial here.

Revised Tobacco Sellers Licensing Measure Approved

Mar 29, 2016
CA Department of Public Health

  On a third attempt, Sonoma County Supervisors yesterday approved a new ordinance that will require sellers of tobacco products to be licensed. The measure is meant to curtail youths’ access to cigarettes, and reduce the number who start smoking before age 18.

Confronting Cyberbullying

Oct 27, 2015

As bullying behaviors have moved from the schoolyard to cyberspace, a coordinated response is needed to combat it. But empowering kids on the frontline remains a potent antidote.

Sustainability and the Next Generation

Oct 21, 2015

Wednesday was Sustainability Day at Sonoma State, but the keynote speaker for the event warned that attaining “full spectrum sustainability” will require long-term and sweeping changes in all areas of modern life.

There is no question that confronting climate change is a political challenge, says David Orr. But it is less about elections, and more about recreating a way of governance that rests on fairness and balance, rather than dominance and profits.

Supervisors Weigh Licensing Tobacco Sales

Sep 22, 2015

  County supervisors spent over 3 hours Tuesday reviewing a proposed plan to make it harder for under aged youth to buy cigarettes and other smoking materials. But while some details were clarified, no final action was taken.

Read the text of the county's draft ordinance here.

An 'Opportunity Fair' for Young Workers

Jul 30, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  More than just a summer job, The Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corp is grooming its participants for the broader workforce, and providing access to numerous possible future career paths.

Summer Youth Ecology Corps Goes Back to Work

Jun 22, 2015

  Today we look at a triple-win summer job program for youth—they’re working outdoors, helping the community, and gaining experiences beyond job skills that will serve them going forward.

  The youth participating in the Ecology Corps don't just gain land maintenance skills that can be applied in numerous situations. Karen Freis, Assistant Director of Sonoma County's Human Services Department notes that they also learn about the local environment they are working in.

Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences

Apr 23, 2015

  ACEs—Adverse Childhood Experiences—have been identified as a frequent root cause of poor health and bad behaviors. Now, efforts to lessen their long-term consequences are beginning to take hold.

   Recently, Jane Stevens has applied her journalism skills and background to the creation of a pair of online resources about ACES. The website Aces Too High, she explains, is intended for the general public, while ACES Connection is meant for social service and other professionals.

How the Internet Changes Thinking

Mar 22, 2015

The Digital Divide isn’t just about online connectivity; it’s also a reflection of cross-generational differences in navigating the world through the Internet.

These differences in mental processing are manifesting most visibly in the modern workplace, suggests Dr. Ofer Zur, through a breakdown in the old hierarchical management structures.


  The emergence of “digital natives” has become a global phenomenon, observes Zur, one that is not limited to highly technological societies.

A Pathway to Apprenticeships

Mar 2, 2015
Redwood Empire Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center

  A new partnership between local construction trades and the Sonoma County Office of Education is getting underway this week, a program that will offer at-risk youth a pathway towards a union apprenticeship.

10,000 Degrees Heats Up Educational Opportunities

Feb 26, 2015
10,000 Degrees

  A pro-active college scholarship program in the North Bay is succeeding by starting early and getting involved in their students’ lives. Not only do most of them get their degrees, but many of the graduates return to help perpetuate the upward cycle.

Inspired Forward by LandPaths

Feb 24, 2015
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

 As the hawk soars, it’s only 13 miles from the west county’s unspoiled Bohemia Ranch to urban Roseland. But for middle school students in an outdoor youth leadership program, it can be a memorable journey. KRCB’s Bruce Robinson tagged along on one such outing last week.

Foster Youth Service Organization Expands Southward

Sep 30, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  VOICES is an innovative, youth-led program offering support services for kids who have aged out of foster homes. The name is an acronym for Voice Our Independent Choices for Emancipation Services.  They began seven years ago in Napa, and expanded to Santa Rosa in 2009. Now the group has moved beyond the North Bay to launch a third site.

Find out more about VOICES on their website.

The group's move into Monterey County was widely covered in local media there. Here's one example.

Green Teens to Share Climate Ideas

Sep 26, 2014

  The issue of Climate Change is a big concern for many area high school students, and a large group of them are coming together this evening to talk about what they are doing and share ideas. It’s being organized by the Eco-2-School program, and today KRCB’s Bruce Robinson talks with the woman who runs it.

The Green Teen gathering is in the Montgomery High School cafeteria from 5-8 pm today. Find out more about the Eco-2-School program here.

Boys & Girls Club at Juvenile Hall

Jun 28, 2014
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

  There’s a place in Sonoma County where even rival gang members can enjoy sharing a nutrition class or a game of Foosball. It takes some effort to get into—but it can be even harder to get out.  

  Marty Mitchell, a veteran youth probation officer who is now Director of the Los Gulicos facility, observes that the Boys & Girls Club program incorporates teaching social skills, which he has seen take root in some improbable ways.

Boys and Girls Club administrator Michelle Edwards adds a further example.

National Recognition for Local Boys & Girls Clubs

May 6, 2014

  It was a very good week for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County at their organization’s national gathering last week, as they came home with some impressive recognition.

The Consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences

Apr 10, 2014

  A traumatic childhood often results in an adulthood with health complications and a lowered life expectancy.  But even decades after the fact, there may be a way to diminish those harmful consequences.

   When asked, Dr. Felitti cites the full list of the 10 Adverse Childhood Experiences incorporated in his research.

While other experiences can certainly be traumatic, he adds, they don't cause the same kind of severity of life-long complications as the ten on his list. The table below shows their comparative frequency.

'Andy's Youth' Set March, Call for Transparency

Feb 17, 2014

There’s no school today, due to the President’s Day holiday, so a group of students have planned and organized another public demonstration in Santa Rosa. They’re calling themselves Andy’s Youth, and the event is centered on renewed calls for transparency in the investigations into the shooting death of Andy Lopez. Here’s more about it on today’s Exchange segment.

 Today’s march and demonstration is slated to get started at 1:30 pm in Old Courthouse Square in downtown Santa Rosa.

North Bay Young Dems Form New Club

Jan 3, 2014

A new group of politically active young people is emerging in the North Bay, with plans to raise their public profile in the coming year. We get a preview on today's Exchange segment.

Find out more about the Wine Country Young Democrats on their Facebook page.

Operation Bicycle Gears Up for Christmas

Dec 9, 2013

  Operation Bicycle, at Sonoma Valley Teen Services, offers a “repair to ride” program to encourage more kids to start cycling. And they’ve got a little Christmas bonus opportunity now as well. Bruce Robinson chatted with the guy behind it all.

The Race to Save the Record Plant

Nov 11, 2013

  From 1972 into the new century, The Record Plant in Sausalito saw dozens of memorable songs and albums created in its studios. Today, a last-minute fund-raising effort is underway to preserve the space for further music-making.

Gang Prevention in Santa Rosa

Oct 17, 2013

Gang prevention efforts in Santa Rosa have reduced violence and improved the situation, but it remains an issue that will not go away. Bruce Robinson talks with the new head of the city’s anti-gang program.

Updating the Sebastopol Grange

Oct 7, 2013
Bruce Robinson, KRCB

Old ideas and a new generation have combined to revive the Sebastopol Grange, and brought statewide attention to the refreshed agriculture support group.

The upwelling of interest in the Sebastopol Grange is far from unique, says Vice President  Lawrence  Jaffee. The local group is part of a growing trend.

Jobs Made Real

Mar 29, 2013

YouTube videos offer far more than casual entertainment. Corralled and curated on a new, locally developed website, they can also help teens explore career options they might never have otherwise considered.

Although the Jobs Made Real website was designed with teens in mind, Chops Teen Club Executive Director Diana Curtin says she got an unexpected demonstration of its wider demographic appeal…in her own home.