On September 22nd, La Familia hosted an event that provided several services for the surrounding community while celebrating 45 years of helping the residents of Sacramento.
La Familia Counseling Center
“Links to Law Enforcement” by La Familia is an event that will go from the 1st of March all the way to April 5th. It will be held at La Familia’s Maple Neighborhood Center which is on 37th Ave in Sacramento.
La Familia is an organization that provides multicultural counseling along with services of support for low-income and at-risk youth and their families in Sacramento. For over 40 years, has provided these services that are all completely free with a totally bilingual staff. Their mission is to improve the quality of youth and their families by providing these services and providing programs that aim to help families to become empowered and succeed.
The Links to Law Enforcement event is a six session event that empowers young people and encourages them to participate in all things law enforcement in Sacramento. This is in effort to have the youth participate to diversify the law enforcement including the California Highway patrol and local sheriff agencies.
This event is likely in response to the police department not being racially diverse as the communities they serve. In Sacramento, the police department is dominantly 72% white while the community is only 36% white. While the rest being 14% black, 25% latino, and 25% other.
“This event has been happening for a long time in Sacramento, and we’re very proud of it,” said Ramon Guitart with La Familia when asked about the event. “These programs, especially from La Familia, help out families and youth and their communities.”
For more information on this upcoming event and what they do please click here.
La Familia Counseling Center and its partners, Fairy Tale Town and 916 Ink, have been granted access to the Maple Elementary School Yard. The old Maple Elementary School was closed in 2013 along with six other Sacramento schools. Now, the school is on its way to becoming the future “Maple Neighborhood Center.”
A year of discussions with the Sacramento Unified School District came down to a four-to-one vote in favor for the partnered organizations. Clean up has already begun and this new space will become a hub for many different community services.
La Familia will extend their counseling services to the new school yard as soon as possible. The La Familia counseling services are provided to youth from newborn to twenty-one years old and is free to those with Medi-Cal. La Familia also provides weekly counseling sessions for seniors as well.
“We are excited to be getting more counseling rooms … here we don’t have any space, “ says Lynn Keune, the Clinical Director for La Familia.
Fairytale Town, located in Land Park, is also moving into the new Maple Community Center. This open space will also leave room for Fairy Tale Town to open a pop-up playground. It will be built with donated items to spark the area children’s imaginations.
916 Ink is excited to be getting some new schoolrooms to hold classes with their students. 916 Ink provides a free writing workshop for the local youth and the classrooms provide a perfect writing place.
Soon, the Maple School yard will once again be a place that benefits of the community and the future for the surrounding neighborhood looks bright.
“We are there to serve the community, which is what we have been doing for forty-one years,” says Phyllis Rodriguez the Administrative Manager for La Familia.
On December 3rd, the parents, students, and other concerned members of the community met at the La Familia Counseling Center in order to review the Local Control Accountability Plan for the Sacramento City Unified School District. Also on the docket for the evening was helping newcomers understand the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
“You have the power now… That’s what Local Control means,” said Carl Pinkston from the Black Parallel School Board. The focus of the meeting was to empower members of the community to hold the district accountable and to help make its LCAP more effective.
The forum began with an introduction on what the LCAP is and a brief summary on how data is collected to report to the state. Community members were shown the demographics of the SCUSD, as well as the need-based structure of its budget. According to the Department of Education, the school district’s LCAP must “meet annual goals for all pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities,” as defined by state law.
“Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.” These words from Governor Jerry Brown echoed as attendees watched his 2013 State of the State address, hoping to gain perspective on the importance of local meetings like this.
Then, event facilitators organized smaller discussions on the specifics of the LCAP and asked attendees to discuss their personal experiences with the school district and state funding program. They reviewed answers the school district gave to questions asked by the state about its LCAP. The groups then rated the truthfulness of those answers based on personal experience.
By the end of the meeting, each topic had been thoroughly talked over by each group, and a representative from each one stood up shared a couple points that the table agreed on.
“Seize the opportunity that has been given to you,” said Howard Lawrence of Sacramento Area Congregations Together. Hopefully, Wednesday’s forum helped to solidify the community’s commitment to keeping the schools district’s budget on track.
To learn more about LCAPs and LCFFs, go to:
On August 15th, 916 Ink will be holding a Zine release party at the La Familia Counseling Center on 5523 34th Street from 5-7PM. Prior to this event, 916 Ink held a two-week creative writing workshop that was open to youth of all ages.
The release party is centered around the newly printed “zine” titled, “Choose Your Own Sacramento”.
A “zine”, also known as a fanzine is a small, noncommercial magazine written around one specific topic. In this case, youth writers wrote specifically on a “choose your own adventure” story through Sacramento and it’s neighborhoods.
916 ink is a program that promotes literacy to a wide variety of youth writers in the Sacramento county. Headed by a group of creative individuals,, the program aims to engage and empower the youth to pursue literature and the arts. The program has served over 800 kids, ranging from kindergarten to high school level. 916 ink has successfully published over 25 books, from comics to poetry books.
Two other books, both funded by the BHC and supported by 916 ink, are set to be released in the near future as well. One, named Maxed Out, was written by youth in Detention. The book features over 30 teens that are held in the maximum security unit of the Youth Detention Center. Due to their circumstances, however, a book release event was not allowed.
No matter the kid, 916 ink encourages and promotes literacy within the youth in order to empower them. Yehuda Berg, an author, once said, “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.”
This month, a Youth Empowerment Summit will provide Sacramento youth with a special opportunity to reflect on self-esteem and healthy living.
The Summit, which will be held on August 28th at La Familia Counseling Center, will allow youth to bond and engage in topics pertinent to life as an adolescent.
“La Familia has been in Sacramento providing services for 41 years this October,” says Rachel Rios, Executive Director of La Familia Counseling Center. “Our mission is to improve the quality of life for at-risk kids and families of diverse backgrounds, and we do that by offering multi-cultural counseling and support programs and services to families and to young people.”
La Familia Counseling Center’s upcoming Summit aims to engage local youth while reminding them of their potential. Open to all youth ages 12-18, the Summit will provide lunch, gifts, raffle prizes, and an open environment where participants will discuss self-esteem, self-identity, healthy living, and their communities.
Guest speakers will also be present at the Summit to encourage young participants and offer words of advice.
“We want to be able to reach young people,” says Rios. “We know that they face a multitude of challenges, and we want to encourage them to be engaged, to know that there are people out there that are available to support them, and to start their year in a positive way.”
The Youth Empowerment Summit is a free event open to all interested youth. To RSVP, or to sponsor the event, contact Fransico Arreola at (916) 452-3601, or AFrancisco@lafcc.org. To learn more about La Familia Counseling Center, visit their website.
Featured image courtesy of flickr.com/creativecommons.