|4/1/2013||Teen client||"I feel better! I am not so trapped anymore. I feel happy for the first time in a while. Talking about my problems really did help. I feel like I can trust my parents again. I feel relieved that I am not that girl who is going to keep myself down. I’m finally glad that things have gotten better." |
|1/17/2013||Parent of 2 girls with mentors||"I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and my two daughters to express my gratitude and appreciation for the Tahoe Youth & Family Services mentoring program. Both of my daughters have experienced many benefits from the positive experience they have had with both their mentors and Mentor Coordinator Eli Stevenson. Eli worked diligently to ensure my daughters would be paired with mentors that had similar interests and personalities that my daughters would be more likely to relate to. Both of my daughters enjoy the time they have with their mentors doing fun activities or even just talking. The bond they have is special because the mentors are a safe adult they can confide in who is not a family member and more like a friend. My daughters have both showed improvement in their behavior and schoolwork that I believe is a direct result of the time their mentors have invested in them. We will be forever grateful to TYFS, Eli and the two angels who volunteer their time to mentor my daughters."|
|12/29/2012||Susan, TYFS Mentor||"When I first considered becoming a mentor I really wondered if I had anything to offer a young child that might make a difference in their life. I put it off for about a year, really tentative about the prospect of mentoring a young girl whose life was not very stable. What if I was bad at it? What if it’s not a good match?|
That was three years ago, and today my mentee and I have not only formed a healthy bond, but I have to say it is the most deeply rewarding experience of my life. People say to me, ”You are changing her life in such a positive way”.
I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know she has changed mine. Our time together is often challenging, but always a rich experience for me.
Although my mentee has had many losses in her short life, I have come to love and appreciate her ability to cope and thrive in so many ways. She can be impatient, grumpy, and find all kinds of excuses not to do what she has been asked, but underneath it all she yearns to be a good person.
I have given her someone who is consistently there. Someone she can talk to about things and know she won’t be judged for it. She has given me a very strong sense of purpose and taught me how to love unconditionally. It would be difficult for me to measure just who has benefitted more from this relationship."
|12/26/2012||Cody||Testimonial from Cody, who visits our South Lake Tahoe Drop In Center. “I am first hand witness to the kids that have received help, the true passion of giving. TYFS has always been here for me when I had nothing else and the SLT Drop In Center staff (Cheyanne, Laura & Ali) have been beautiful & generous. I’ve lived on the streets for some years and it’s been a blessing to know of these services and amazing people!” |
|9/25/2012||Parent Testimonial||"We want to thank you so much for all your help. We are thankful you came into our lives and you did make a difference. Keep up the good work."|
|9/18/2012||Teen Client||“I feel like our time was awesome and very helpful. I have overcome a lot of things and learned how to go on with my day without letting anyone affect my mood. Thank you so much for talking to me when I really needed you and just not giving up on me. And taking so much interest in my health. I had an amazing time in group and I wouldn’t ask for any other counselor.” |
|6/28/2012||The Christensen Family||“We the Christensen Family would like to thank Nancy for mentoring our daughter Elaine. Nancy has been a great joy to our family. She has helped our daughter with the new arrival of our new son Maximus. She has become a part of our family! There are no words to express our gratitude! Nancy is a blessing, we love her so much. Thank you for everything! We love you Nancy!”|
|6/14/2012||Teen Client||“My counselor has been extremely beneficial to me. She has taught me a lot about relationships, especially family relationships. I’ve also learned some very effective coping skills and healthy stress reducers. I have had a positive and helpful experience. I know that I have changed and that I couldn’t have done it without of her. She really respected me, and I felt comfortable with her.” |
|6/14/2012||Teen Client||“Heather (Avila) has helped me so much in my life. I started seeing her my sophomore year and she made a huge impact in my life. She has helped me overcome a lot of obstacles that I have faced. I don’t know what I would have done without her help and encouragement. She has taught me a lot of different ways to not use or do other things that aren’t safe. Heather is a huge role model and I look up to her a lot.”|
|6/14/2012||Parent Testimonial||“I give thanks to TYFS for helping me with my daughter. She was really a rebel and thanks to them, my daughter is a completely different person. She is a better student and a better person. I give thanks for all your help and counseling. Thank you for taking the time to help us and for all your respect.”|
|6/14/2012||Denice||“I thank counseling for helping me get (into) a better mood. Also, I would like to thank Heather (Avila) for helping me get along with my mom....without her I’m not sure what I would do. Thanks to Heather, my mom and I get along much better and she helped me like people. I will miss Heather and I will miss counseling.”|
|6/4/2012||Chris||"TYFS is Great! It’s where I met my wonderful counselor Christine Salvo. She helped me with my addiction and many other aspects of my life. I would recommend Christine and TYFS to anyone! I would also like to thank the entire staff for all of their hard work and for being so nice and understanding." |
|5/23/2012||Sam||“I truly appreciate all of the help, kindness, care, respect and great opinions Cindi (Swalm) has given me. I love that she treats me as an equal, not just some underdog, unsuccessful kid like some people have in the past. I enjoy that we can cheer each other up in tough situations and that we can laugh at just about anything. Thank you Cindi for everything! You’re the BEST ♥ ☺”|
|5/21/2012||Oger||“Tahoe Youth & Family Services has been an amazing help for me. They have provided many valuable resources to me when I was homeless and during other times of need. They have helped me with food, clothing, shoes and transportation. Without these services I may not have been able to lead a healthy or productive life, because an honest life would have been close to impossible. Thank you to all persons involved with TYFS and the drop in center.”|
|5/9/2012||Dave||"Thank you Tahoe Youth & Family Services for all you guys have done for me in the past couple years. All the members of Tahoe Youth are great! I've come a long way to become sober and it FEELS GREAT! Sober is the way to go! Thank you!" -Dave, Adult Substance Abuse Treatment Services Client|
|5/1/2012||C.M.||“I have come to TYFS's Drop-in Center every summer for 3 years now and I’ve been helped with anything I need at that time…I have been on and off the streets, homeless, since I was 15. Without places like TYFS and the amazing people that work here I’d be cold, hungry and in need of a shower. TYFS is a necessity in Tahoe as there is no other place like it here.”|
|7/6/2011||Alex, SLT Drop In Center Youth||“The (South Lake Tahoe) Drop In Center has been very helpful for me when I was living in the forest with nothing but a tent and the clothes on my back. I would always stop by for something to eat, since I am very limited on what I can spend money on. The staff are really nice women and they have helped me a whole lot in my situation. I am much more prepared to achieve my goals thanks to the Drop In Center.”|
|6/1/2011||Luis Quijas, Mentor||"My name is Luis Quijas and I have been a resident of South Lake Tahoe since 1990. Around that time, there was no mentor program and we as kids needed a program like this. It would have made a big difference in our lives, especially mine. Now I get to be a mentor to Julio and it has been one of the best decisions I have made. Working with youth has always been something I wanted to do and now I am able to do it and for that I am thankful. I get the opportunity to have a relationship with an incredible six year old and we get to do a lot of fun things like playing football, soccer, flying kites, going to the park or library or his favorite thing to do, riding bikes but most important, we get to be friends. Even though he's too young to know it yet, he has made a big impact in my life. Mentoring is not only making a positive impact on a child's life but it will also make a great impact on yours. It's a win win situation to be a mentor. So come join!"|
|5/31/2011||Teen Client||"Counseling helped me see what is really important in my life. It showed me that you don't need drugs to have fun. Made me realize how important other things are without drugs for influence."|
|5/17/2011||Teen Client||“When I first started coming to Tahoe Youth & Family Services I was a completely lost kid. Now after coming here, I’d say I’ve grown up a lot and learned to make more mature decisions. You’ve helped me quit getting into trouble, realize life is so much better than I thought it was and most importantly, you’ve helped me become sober. I’ve been sober for about 10 months now, and I love it! Being sober has changed so many things for me...I think more clearly, make better choices and actually care about school. I have a stronger relationship with my family; I learned it’s just so much better to take responsibility and actually do something big in my life. There are still times when I am tempted to do drugs again...but I know I’m stronger than that to just give in and I love that feeling to know that I control my own life. Thank you!”|
|5/13/2011||Adult Client||"I live one day at a time, always have and always will. I have learned that it is me who has the choice to drink or not. I am the only one who can help me." |
|4/15/2011||Mentor||"When my 12 year old mentee,asked me why there was a mentoring program, I responded "Because you need more adult time and I need more kid time." After being a mentor for a year and a half, I can honestly say that my life is more enriched because I am able to have kid timewith my mentee. Not having any kids of my own, I was initially worried that I wouldn’t have answers to difficult questions she might ask. The mentor program has provided excellent support to help me through any issues or concerns. Thank you!"|
|1/1/2011||Young Men's Work Group Participant||"It was nice to be able to talk about things that aren't normally discussed. It was good to have something to be able to fall back on. I learned how to deal with feelings." (from Young Men's Work group participant)|
|1/1/2011||Young Men's Work Group Participant||"This class really helped me stop freaking out on teachers and other students. It's really nice to have a place to talk to other teens who have the same issues as me. (It was)Dope! Thanks!" |
|8/2/2010||Parent Testimonial||"Thank you for the hours that you spent in confidential counseling with my daughter. The time you spent paid off in immediate positive activities such as part time work, softball and graduating from high school.|
This could all have gone the other way without your help, in conjuntion with staff members at Douglas High School.
Special credit also goes to Douglas High School counselor Kris Robison for suggesting your services. She was right on target with that one. She has worked hard to turn my daughter around from suspected drug useage.
The call to you, your immediate intervention and trust building sessions all made the story have a "happy ending."
She finished school with a high grade point average.
|1/1/2010||Mentor||“I know this experience has helped my mentee a lot but it has helped me beyond words. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Almost every time we are together my mentee says something that fills me with joy. After I drop my mentee off at home and drive away, I always feel like the richest person alive. Occasionally my mentee will ask me if I am rich. My response is always,“ Yes, we both are because we have each other."|
|12/1/2009||Mentor||“My life is more rich and rewarding with my mentee in it!” |
|11/15/2009||Mentor|| “I have been a mentor for two years and have developed a beautiful and special friendship with my mentee. I know that this is a friendship that will last forever. After being this close there is no way that I can just sign out of this program. Thank you, Tahoe Youth and Family Services, for giving me this wonderful opportunity.” |
|11/15/2009||Teen Client||"When I was in Drug and Alcohol Abuse counseling I learned a lot. The whole program really just opened my eyes to the fact that I really am the only person in control of my life, my decisions affect my outcomes and the better my choices the better the outcomes. I can’t, by any means, say I walked in as a picture perfect person, but I can say I walked out with more knowledge and ability to say what I knew was right rather then my peers’ ideas of right. Seems as if that point and time, going to see my counselor helped with a lot, just speaking my mind without the fear of judgment or punishment made me feel less mentally anchored down. Expression, I’ve found, is one of the absolute best releases from problems. Because of this program I am stronger and more aware and I think maybe I was supposed to end up there as a reality check, to get my crap together, and it helped." |
|10/14/2009||Parent & Client||"I just completed the parenting class at Tahoe Youth & Family. There were many things learned while attending this program. I feel the most important lesson I learned was about myself. During parenting there are many situations that occur which create tension in myself, in my child and family. I have the choice to be positive and handle them with a mature adult attitude which my kids will recognize as the way to act. If I were to be negative and childish, my kids will be affected, likewise. There is no room for negativity, especially violence as a parent and adult." |
|10/14/2009||Parent & Client||"I am writing this letter to express my satisfaction with the program I just completed regarding Parenting Strategies and Education.One of the biggest lessons I take away from this class is the tool to handle difficult co-parenting situations. I believe I have a better understanding of the obstacles that I will be facing in both the immediate future and the long term. I am confident that I can work with my children's mother to solve differences we might have. I have learned that co-parenting is in the best interest of my sons. I also feel like I have gained the confidence needed to be a capable and outstanding father. I feel these qualities will enable me to be a better parent to my children. I benefitted most from the group setting and learned that I am not the only parent that is facing difficult situations. Having others to identify with helped me in sharing my own situation and listening to suggestions. I know this program will benefit me for a lifetime and I know I will refer back to what I have learned in this class to help guide me through difficult parenting situations. Thank you again for your time and providing me with this valuable group." |
|9/1/2009||Teen Client||"Thank you Tahoe Youth and Family for your services. I have learned so much being a client of yours. Through the garbage I’ve been through your services were always there for me. I’m going to miss everyone very much. It’s been such an experience. I feel like I had no idea who I was, but ypu all showed me you don’t always have to sleep to dream. I found character and strength through this whole experience, and that’s all I’ll ever need to fight life’s demons. I’ve been inspired, now I’m going to create my own path way of happiness. Thank you."|
|3/1/2008||Parent Testimonial||"Well, my experience was incredible. My daughter really got the help she needed. She improved tremendously. She seems like a different girl. She is more active and has confidence in herself. Our counselor made a big difference in our lives. She is a wonderful therapist. Thank you Tahoe Youth and Family Services for helping my daughter and I to heal within ourselves. This really changed our lives."|