Newly-elected JJAB officers pictured at the Mar. 6 meeting are, from left, Nicole’ Raddu Ferry, vice chair, Jordan Redmond, chair, and Sharon Hurley. Photo Courtesy JJAB
JJAB members and partners celebrated the 15th anniversary of JJAB at their monthly meeting March 6 with a cake made by Giovanna Garofalo. Photo Courtesy JJAB
At its March meeting, the Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB) celebrated 15 years of serving Los Alamos youth and their families. JJAB was established on March 17, 2004, through resolutions from the Los Alamos County Council and the Los Alamos School Board.
Morrie Pongratz, one of the original founders of JJAB, recently returned to the Board as the Senior Citizen Representative. Pongratz remembers the beginning fondly, “In 2003 Police Chief Rich Melton, Judge Alan Kirk and I were members of the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. We met in various cities around the state. We saw that some cities had organizations that facilitated cooperative efforts of state, public schools and local government to address juvenile issues. We decided to try a similar organization here in Los Alamos.”
Today JJAB delivers direct services and partners with community organizations, providing youth and families the skills needed to develop healthy lives and relationships and rewarding futures. To do this, JJAB provides services such as individualized case management, parenting workshops, youth activities, and classes and trainings.
Kristine Coblentz, Program Director of the Los Alamos Public Schools Healthy Schools Initiative, has been connected with JJAB since 2011. According to Coblentz, “JJAB has a strong history of providing support for innovative programs that are responsive to emerging challenges and often fill a gap in services for our local youth and families.”
JJAB looks forward to serving the community for many years to come. The organization will continue to focus on the needs of youth with an emphasis on reducing youth risk behaviors, facilitating positive youth development, and building resiliency.
Funding for JJAB is received from: Los Alamos County, NM Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), Los Alamos Public Schools, United Way, ConAlma, The Delle Foundation, and other donors. JJAB community partners include: the Los Alamos Public Schools, the Family YMCA and Teen Center, Family Strengths Network, and Teen Court.
For additional information about JJAB services and programs, visit http://www.losalamosjjab.com or call 505.709.8125.