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Back to the Future Event a HUGE Success!
On September 15th, we transformed Chop’s Teen Club into a 40′s Nightclub and welcomed nearly
200 members of our community in to enjoy an evening of music, delicious food and dancing, along with story sharing of “the old days at Lena’s”. We were humbled by the connection our guests made with our mission, and how they were inspired by the opportunities we provide to our teen members.
The evening began with a cocktail hour featuring appetizers both prepared and served by our Teen Catering Crew, while our Jam Band serenaded our guests. From there, guests enjoyed an elegant Italian dinner catered by the Maria Carrillo Culinary Arts students. The Elsie Allen High School Drum Line brought the house down with an amazing performance. Master of Ceremonies Keith Woods kept the evening entertaining, and played a key role as Auctioneer. Our auction items were a big hit, but none more than a dinner with Gaye LeBaron…it was so popular, we ended up auctioning off THREE dinners with Gaye! The Fund-A-Need portion of the evening brought in a total of $52,500, all to support our programs. The grand highlight of the evening was our Guest of Honor Henry Trione unveiling a bronze sculpture
of Charles “Chop” DeMeo, the man who made Chop’s Teen Club a reality.
Our goal was to raise a total of $25,000 at the event to support our programs. We could hardly believe it when at the end of the evening we realized we had raised nearly $70,000! Our staff, teens and Board of Directors are so thankful to each and every person and company whose contributions resulted in such a successful inaugural event. Mark your
calendar for Back to the Future 2013, set for September 7th, 2013!
Chop’s Teen Club Launches New Website
On January 24th, Chop’s Teen Club will launch an innovative new website called Jobs Made Real, By Teens for Teens in collaboration with Mike and Suzy Marzalek, who serve as Chop’s Teen Club Workforce volunteers. The website was created in response to teens saying they do not know what people really do in their jobs and therefore find it difficult to chose and prepare for a career path. Jobs Made Real features over 2,000 videos of real people doing their jobs. It is unique in that it presents statistical data on job forecast and career information gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in an engaging and entertaining way, through videos. In addition, the website links to other websites that provides information on local education and training, programs and job opportunities. The Jobs Made Real website is part of the Chop’s Workforce Program Portfolio and will be promoted to teens, teachers, parents, career counselors and other youth serving agencies. You can find the website at www.jobsmadereal.com.
Jasiah comes to Chop’s and greets the members and staff with her infectious smile. Jasiah spends most of her time in the Art Studio, where she explores her creativity with painting and clay.Jasiah says she likes the Art Studio “because it gives me the chance to do something I can be proud of.” Jasiah hopes to be a pediatrician when she grows up.
Jeremy has been a member for a few years and recently finished the R U READY workforce program. Jeremy did such a great job during the mock interview portion of the program that he got a job catering for Cold Stone Creamery! Jeremy says, “Chop’s helped me get a job, and helped me try new things like the Rock Wall, and helped me make new friends.” Jeremy’s favorite thing about Chop’s is the staff. He is very active and aware of all the programs at Chop’s and is welcoming to new members. Jeremy is a natural leader and we are excited to see what the future holds for him. One day Jeremy hopes to be a pharmacist or a biochemical engineer. If Jeremy could describe Chop’s in one word it would be “welcoming.”
Brianna became a member last summer and enjoys a number of our programs. She is always making people laugh, and is kind and respectful to members and staff. Brianna enjoys painting in the Art Studio and loves attending our dances. Her favorite thing about Chop’s is the staff. Brianna hopes to be a veterinarian when she grows up.
Danny is a bit shy, but you would be amazed if you saw him playing his accordion because he is a beast! Danny comes into Chop’s with a friendly smile and he’s the type of person who will help anyone without ever being asked. His favorite part about Chop’s is the Recording Studio where he can express himself through the music he plays. Not only does he play the accordion, but he plays the guitar and drums. One day he hopes to grow up and become a well known musician. We can’t wait to buy Danny’s first CD!
| Spring Programs Begin January 2nd
At Chop’s Teen Club we have been moving toward providing teens with more opportunities to become workforce ready, and now have an exciting menu of programs. Our initiative aligns us with the mission of Cradle to Career Sonoma County, an historic partnership that connects all segments of the educational pipeline – early childhood, K-12, college/technical training and careers – with broad community support to improve the educational, economic, and health outcomes for all Sonoma County youth. The Cradle to Career Spring Conference will be held at Chop’s Teen Club on March 7th.
Our workforce ready programs this spring includes the introduction of Digital Media, Beginning and Advanced Photoshop, Basic and Advanced Facilitator Training for Teens, as well as our successful RU Ready? Workforce Certificate Program, Barista Certificate Program, and Culinary and Catering Program. We are also partnering with the Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation to offer Feeling Good! Your Picture of Health Leadership Certificate Program, which prepares high school students to lead small groups of teens to identify and clarify their own goals for a healthy life. Successful participants can then apply to lead Chop’s Teen Club’s Feeling Good! groups and receive a stipend.
In addition to work ready programs, teens can enjoy art classes, recording studio sessions, basketball, rock wall climbing, three dances each month, tutoring and homework help, time in the Tech Lounge, join the Girl’s or Guy’s Group, become involved in our Member Council, and so much more! Our Spring Activity Guide will be available in early December. Check our website then for full listings, or call us at 707-284-2467 and we’ll mail one to you.
Shanna does an amazing job as a Lobby Assistant at Chop’s Teen Club.
Shanna has a positive attitude and a fantastic work ethic – she is accurate, organized and consistently efficient. If you call or come in to Chop’s, you’ll be greeted by Shanna’s warm smile and excellent customer service skills. Shanna currently attends Santa Rosa Junior College, and hopes to become a paramedic.
Keith has proven himself to be a HUGE asset to Chop’s Teen Club. His work ethic is exemplary and his attitude outstanding. Since he joined the Chop’s Team, our facility has never looked better. Keith is able to fix just about anything and works hard to keep the facility looking clean and well maintained. Much of Keith’s work is behind the scenes but does not go unnoticed. It is because of his hard work that we are able to keep our club in such amazing shape, as our facility enables us to provide important programs for our teens.
Mark Your Calendar
January 2nd: Chop’s Teen Club Spring Programs Begin
January 24th: Jobs Made Real Launch www.jobsmadereal.com
February 27th: Board of Director’s Open House
March 7th: Cradle to Career Spring Conference
April 4th: Youth Empowerment & Leadership Conference
*For more information about any of the above, please call us at 707-284-2467 or visit us online at www.chopsonline.com
Greetings from Diana Curtin, Executive Director
Not a day goes by that I don’t feel real pride for what we do here at Chop’s Teen Club, and how the benefits to teens are facilitated by our outstanding staff and supported by an amazing Board of Directors. But on March 27th, I was especially beaming with pride as I accepted the Jefferson Award for Public Service from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on behalf of our teen members, staff and Board of Directors. Please read on to find out more about the award, as well as udpates on all the goings-on here at Chop’s Teen Club!
Chop’s Teen Club Receives 2012 Jefferson Award
The County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors selected Chop’s Teen Club to receive a 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service. Chop’s Teen Club was one of only five local award recipients selected this year. Established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the Jefferson Awards Program is a national recognition system designed to highlight public service in America. Locally the program was adopted by the County of Sonoma Board of Directors and highlights the value of nonprofit organizations, boards, commissions, and advisory bodies, as well as individual efforts for “Excellence in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement. Chop’s Teen Club was one of only five local recipients selected this year. We were in amazing company with the four other recipients; Oscar Chavez, Rick Dean, The Ceres Community Project and Healthy Kids of Sonoma County.
Human Race 2012
We will participate in the Human Race again this year on Saturday, May 5th. The Chop’s staff and teen members will walk to raise funds for Chop’s programs and supplies. Fundraising opportunities like the Human Race is one important way for us to maintain our membership fee of just $1 per year. We have a goal to raise $5,000 and would greatly appreciate your sponsorship. Please click on this link to donate: http://www.humanracenow.org/goto/chops.
We have also partnered with La Gare French Restaurant in Railroad Square for Human Race Restaurant Week. On Wednesday, May 2nd, and Thursday May 3rd, when you dine at La Gare, they will gift 15% of their proceeds for those evenings to Chop’s Teen Club. La Gare is currently celebrating their 30 year anniversary, and remains one of the most popular and spectacular restaurants in Sonoma County. To make a reservation for one of the Restaurant Week evenings, please call Le Gare at 707-528-4355. Click here to download the flyer to present to your server http://www.chopsonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Human-Race-Restaurant-Week-Flyer.jpg
Anissa is such a pleasure to have around. She is funny, helpful and kind. Anissa is an active member of the Girl’s Group at Chop’s. Whenever a new girl joins the group Anissa is very welcoming. Anissa loves attending Chop’s dances. Outside of Chop’s, Anissa enjoys hanging out with her friends and taking break dancing classes. If she could add anything to Chop’s she would make more field trips available to members such as trips to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Disneyland. When Anissa grows up, she hopes to be a part of the classic car industry and participate in car shows. Thank you Anissa for being a positive influence at Chop’s Teen Club!
In the short time Josh has been a member at Chop’s, we have been amazed with his kindness and compassion. Josh’s favorite thing to do at Chop’s is play music in the recording studio with Brodie. One day Josh hopes to become a musician and have his own music studio, where he can share the magic of music with teens. Music makes him happy and relaxes him when he’s having a rough day. We asked Josh what he would do if he won the lottery and he said, “I’d buy a house, a ton of video games, and make a bigger Recording Studio at Chop’s, as well as a skate park.” Josh is a great member and a positive role model for other members. Whether you see Josh jamming away in the recording studio or figuring out a rubix cube, he always has a kind and warm smile on his face.
Spring Break at Chop’s Teen Club Rocks the House
We like to make a big deal out of spring break, so we pull out all the stops to make sure our teen members have a week to remember. This year we had 143 teen members come and enjoy a week filled with eating contests, culinary classes, sports, art projects and much more. Chop’s was buzzing with activity and the welcome sounds of teens having fun.
Our Sports Coordinator Justin, organized a 3 on 3 basketball tournament that was a huge success. There were 9 teams with 27 participants. The winning team in each division received tickets to a Warriors game! Long time Chop’s volunteer Chico Averbuck, scout for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Director of the North Coast Basketball Association donated the Warrior tickets. Congratulations to Arturo Rivas who won MVP, and to T.O. Coker who won the Sportsmanship Award. The week of non-stop activity came to an end with a celebratory BBQ and a sigh of relief from our staff who worked hard to create a week of fun for the teens.
Honored Staff Members
Jack works in one of the busiest and energetic places at Chop’s – the Tech Lounge! Jack has a great attitude, a balanced approach to solving issues in the Tech Lounge and is a positive role model for the teens. He uses good judgment when making decisions and it shows in his work with the teens. We have come to count on Jack as a stable and steady force here at Chop’s. Jack is always willing to go to youth development trainings and he works hard to apply what he has learned to his Tech Lounge Assistant position. Jack’s light-hearted approach makes him a pleasure to work with. In fact, he recently wowed us all at the Family Ice Skating Event with his fantastic impression of Brian Boitano! We are thankful we can count on Jack to put his heartfelt effort into getting the job done!
Jessica has been an excellent addition to the Chop’s team. Since she joined the staff in the Art Studio, she has engaged the members in sewing machine projects and has re-introduced the lost art of Paper Mache. She has an inviting spirit that makes everyone around her feel welcome. When Jess is in the Art Studio she creates an environment that makes creativity flow. She provides a living example of our core values by role modeling her caring nature and at the same time, expecting the best from everyone who participates. With her many life experiences, she shares opportunities available to teens that some don’t know about…..like living without electricity, growing and cooking your own food while living creatively and sustainably. In Jessica’s eyes, anything is possible and it shows!
Mark Your Calendars!
~La Gare French Restaurant – Dine & Donate to Chop’s Teen Club, Wednesday, May 2nd and Thursday, May 3rd La Gare will donate 15% of their proceeds on these two evenings to Chop’s. Call 707-528-4355 for reservations.
~Spring Variety Showcase, Friday, May 11th, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Join us to celebrate with Chop’s Teen Members. We will showcase their stories and accomplishments in music, dance, art, comedy and more. Appetizers will be served by the Chop’s Teen Catering Crew.
~ Open House, Saturday, June 2, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Bring your friends and join us for a BBQ, Karaoke and the Rock Wall! Activities will be provided in the Art Studio, Tech Lounge, Gym and Recording Studio. This a free event.
~Art Gala, Thursday, July 26th, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Join us for a special evening to showcase the art created during our Summer Art Series. This will be a juried show, and will feature appetizers prepared by the Chop’s Catering Crew and music by the Chop’s Jam Band.
~Back to the Future…Come Back to Lena’s for the Future of Our Teens, Saturday, September 15th, 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. Join us for our first fundraising event! Dinner, live auction, teen musical performances, special guests and dancing. For ticket and sponsor information call 707-284-2467.
Greetings from Diana Curtin, Executive Director
As we kick off 2012, I am so excited to share what is happening here at Chop’s Teen Club. We are in a time of growth as we increase our program offerings, our partnerships with other youth serving agencies, and member participation. This year we are planning several new events, such as Family Ice Skating at Snoopy’s Ice Arena on March 9th, the Youth Empowerment and Leadership Conference at Chop’s on March 31st, ArtFest 2012 at the Finley Community Center on April 5th, the Young Reporter’s Workshop at Chop’s on April 7th, and our first fundraising event, Back to the Future…Come Back to Lena’s for the Future of Our Teens, a dinner/dancing event where we will unveil a bust of Charles “Chop” DeMeo on September 15th. I would also like to thank all of you who became a “Friend of Chop’s” and made donations to help us build more diverse and enriching programs for our teen members. We hope to see you at some or all of our events, and if you have any questions about the events listed above, please call us at 707-284-2467.
Looking Forward to Seeing You!
Spring Programs Under Way
The Spring Activity Guide is out! January kicks off a season of outstanding programs and workshops designed to meet the varied interests of teens.For the aspiring chef we offer both Barista Training and Culinary Classes with Chef Connie. Musical enthusiasts can learn to play an instrument in Beginning Jam, or take their own band to the next level with Rock Band Coaching in Brodie’s Studio. For teens who want to become more computer savvy, we offer Beginning Computer Science. Teens who love art can sign up for new programs Clay and Ceramics or Junk Art and Sewing in Emily’s Art Studio. For teens looking to be part of a great group, we invite them to join our Girl’s or Guy’s Group. For those teens who are interested in leadership and community service, we offer the Chop’s Interact Club.Teens in need of some extra help with school work can receive tutoring and homework assistance. Sports enthusiasts can join Justin in our state-of-the-art Gymnasium for challenges on our 35 foot Rock Wall, or sign up for Indoor Soccer, Obstacle Course Saturdays or Rock ‘n Hoopsfor basketball games and tournaments. Programs are offered at minimal fees, and some are free of charge. For full details on all programs see the Activity Guide. We invite you to come in to Chop’s for a tour and to pick up a free Activity Guide, or give us a call and we’ll be happy to mail one to you. You can also view the entire Activity Guide online at www.chopsonline.com.
Extreme Make-Over in the Tech Lounge
The Tech Lounge at Chop’s is a popular place for teens to engage, and it’s no wonder, given all there is to do and participate in. The Tech Lounge offers web access, computer technology, network gaming and console games such as Wii, Xbox 360 with Kinect and PS3. There is also space to complete homework and play board games.
After several years of daily use, the equipment and furnishings were in need of upgrading, so the Tech Lounge was recently given an extreme make-over. Out went the old furniture and computers, and in came all new furniture, all new computers, a 55 inch flat screen TV, and all new computer screens. Now it really is a state-of-the-art technology center!
HONORED MEMBERS PROGRAM
You can usually find Cameron in the Art Studio creating pottery with Bill or making Yu-Gi-Oh dolls with Ellen. His passion for art was proudly displayed at the Chop’s Art Gala over the summer. Cameron is a lively member at Chop’s and wants to be a billionaire when he grows up. When asked what he would do with a billion dollars he smiled and said “I would help Chop’s out as much as I could!”
Jennifer loves to hang out in the Art Studio enjoying intellectual conversations with the Art Studio assistants, and looks up to the rest of the Chop’s team as a part of her family. When asked what she would change about Chop’s Teen Club, Jennifer said, “Nothing, Chop’s is the perfect place to be. When it’s cold outside you can come to Chop’s and it’s warm. When it’s hot outside you can come to Chop’s and it’s cool inside, it’s the place to be, and there’s always something to do!” Outside of Chop’s Jennifer is an active student at Art Quest, and a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network. One day she hopes to attend Parsons, Paris School of Art and Design.
Lupita’s favorite activity at Chop’s is playing pool and she loves to bring her friends in and encourages them to become members…thank you Ambassador Lupita! Lupita feels her best memories of Chop’s will be the fun activities, conversations and the new friends she met in Girl’s Group. Lupita loves working with children and wants to be a kindergarten teacher when she grows up.
Uriel “Oreo” Alvarez
Oreo displays absolute respect and kindness to both the staff and members. On any given day you can see Oreo helping out at the front desk, art studio or making someone smile with a magic trick. Oreo has brought members together with his magic and continues to amaze everyone with his tricks. Some of Oreo’s favorite things to do at Chop’s are playing basketball with Justin, hanging out in the art studio with Jess and practicing his magic in Club 509 with Jasmine. When we asked Oreo what he would change about Chop’s he said with a smile on his face, “I would make it so that middle school teens could stay until ten on weekends.” One day Oreo wants to travel the world and bring people of different races, ethnicities and nationalities together with his magic.
|Spotlight on Sports Coordinator Justin AtkinsonJustin Atkinson is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. He attended Gettysburg College where he majored in Philosophy and English. Now, as a graduate student at Sonoma State University, Justin is an Adjunct Professor, teaching English Composition to freshmen. He is an avid rock climber and enjoys just about any outdoor activity. Justin manages the Chop’s Rock Wall, and runs a wide variety of sports programs including, basketball, indoor soccer, dodge ball, floor hockey, badminton, volleyball, obstacle course and wiffle ball. In addition to being a sports fanatic, Justin also leads the Guy’s Group, which helps our male members engage in community service, open communication, and team building workshops. Justin has a strong commitment to the service learning model and tries to incorporate that paradigm into all of the programs he runs at Chop’s. Look for Justin’s upcoming Fantasy Football League and March Madness Tournament!|
|Outstanding Volunteer, Chico AverbuckChico is currently the Director of International Scouting for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Prior to this, he served as a scout for the Portland Trailblazers. Chico graduated from CSU at Bakersfield where he played ball collegiately. He spent his first two years as a collegian playing at Rider College in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Chico also is Director of the North Coast Basketball Association here in Santa Rosa. The NCBA is a 31 week Basketball Academy that teaches basketball fundamentals and life lessons. Chico has volunteered his time with the Chop’s Rock ‘n Hoops program for almost a year, and “believes it is important to give back to our area’s youth as well as assist in any way possible with the incredible mission of Chop’s Teen Club.”|
|Parenting Your Teen WorkshopThe California Parenting Institute will be holding a four week workshop for parents of teens ages 13-19 at Chop’s Teen Club. The classes will be held on Tuesday evenings, March 27-April 17. The workshop will inform parents about the nature and progress of adolescence and give parents concrete, evidence-based skills for addressing teen issues. The cost is $50, and Chop’s Teen Club parents will receive $10 off. To register call CPI at (707) 585-6108 or sign up online at www.calparents.org.|
|Young Reporter Workshop Welcomes the Sonoma County Board of SupervisorsOn April 7th, Chop’s Teen Club, in collaboration with Kids Scoop News and The Volunteer Center of Sonoma County will host a Young Reporter Workshop for 7th and 8th graders to promote literacy and civic engagement. The workshop will be held here at Chop’s from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The purpose of the workshop is to boost writing skills and reading comprehension. The workshop will also introduce the students to county government. All five Sonoma County Supervisors will be attending the workshop and will be interviewed by the students. The students will then write an article based on what they learned from the Supervisors. Thank you Supervisors Zane, Rabbitt, Brown, Carrillo and McGuire! The articles will be published in Kid Scoop News in the following months and read by the 12,000 elementary grade students who read Kid Scoop News in their classrooms. To register, call 707-284-2467.
Mark Your Calendars!
~Work Ready Certificate Program, Tuesdays, February 21 – April 10th, 4:00-6:00 p.m. Chop’s is teaming up with the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) to offer this Work Ready Certificate Program which focuses on competencies needed for getting and keeping a job. Participants will walk away with an employment portfolio and a Work Ready Certificate that will help them be more competitive in this job market. Thanks to a generous grant from Infineon Raceway, this program is available free of charge. To register call 707-284-2467
~ Family Ice Skating at Snoopy’s Ice Arena, Friday March 9th from 5:30-8:00 p.m. The Sonoma County Bar Association is hosting this event, which includes ice skating, skate rental and buffet dinner. Part of the proceeds will benefit Chop’s Teen Club! Cost is $25 for adults, $20 for kids 6-18. Kids 5 and under are free. This is a free evening for Chop’s Teen Club members.
~Youth Empowerment & Leadership Conference, Saturday March 31st from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Chop’s Teen Club is partnering with Windsor Oaks Academy to present this special conference for 7th-10th grade students. The conference will be packed with fun workshops and entertainment with a focus on self-expression and awareness. Key note speaker and best selling author Mike Robbins will get the crowd excited with his dynamic style as he delivers an empowering message about being appreciative and authentic. To register call 707-837-7771.
~ArtFest 2012 Chop’s teen and staff artwork will be featured at the Finley Community Center from
April 3-26. Please plan to join us at the Opening Reception on Thursday, April 5th from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Greetings From Diana Curtin, Executive Director November, 2011
Welcome to the first edition of Chop’s Chat! We are very excited to produce a newsletter to share all the exciting happenings at Chop’s Teen Club. It’s a special time here at Chop’s as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary of serving teens in our community. Mayor Olivares awarded us with a Proclamation, which we happily accepted at a Council Meeting in October. We also recently secured a $10,000 matching grant. Our 10th Anniversary and $10,000 grant gave us the idea for a 10 for 10 Campaign designed to help us raise the additional $10,000. We’ve just kicked off our efforts to raise these funds and hope that you will consider becoming a Friend of Chop’s by becoming a donor. I invite you to read on, you’ll be inspired by what we do here, what we have to offer, and how teens are so richly served by our programs and the Chop’s staff.
If there’s one thing our teens know how to do, it’s create. Create excitement, create stunning works of art, and create spectacular events. And that’s just what they did this past summer. First, the teens were able to participate in our Side-by-Side Artist Series, which paired them with professional local artists from different genres. The series included working with glass, silk and metal art.
The Summer Artist Series is so popular that we have waiting lists and encourage teens to sign up as soon as the classes are announced in our Summer Activity Guide, which comes out in May. The workshops were taught by talented guest artists Davin Goldstein, Christi Coraddi, Klaus Rappensberger, Joey Castor and Arn Anderson.
The Summer Art Series culminated with our Summer Art Gala which provided a platform for the teen artists to show their pieces in a juried art show, judged by Mario Uribe, Kay Marquet and Jennifer Sloan. Much to the delight of patrons, they were treated to culinary creations provided by our teen catering crew, and serenaded by our Chop’s Jam Band. After the event, selected art pieces were showcased at several Railroad Square merchants, including Tee Vax, 6th Street Playhouse, Whistle Stop Antiques, Cast Away Yarn and the Welfare League.
The Handcar Workshop was borne out of the idea of integrating our Art Studio into the larger art community of Sonoma County. Now in its third year, the workshop challenged a group of teens to design and fabricate a handcar to compete in Santa Rosa’s Handcar Regatta.
The teens were led by guest artists Bruce Corson, Bill Donahue and Robin Stephani, who guided the teens through the design process, the exchange of ideas and voting on a design. An elaborate skull and bones creation was the result. “The Rolling Bones” was unveiled during our special “Unveiling Event” in September. Our teen culinary crew also catered this event, and the Jam Band provided musical entertainment. Among those in attendance was Santa Rosa Councilman John Sawyer, who read a Proclamation from Mayor Olivares, celebrating Chop’s Teen Club’s 10th Anniversary. At the Handcar Regatta, the teens were given the Strange Award named for Jessica Strange, the event’s M.C. The award honored the teens’ participation in the event for all three years.
Something we take great pride in at Chop’s is challenging teens to take part in a number of programs and clubs designed to teach them team building skills, enhance their learning opportunities, assist them in becoming workforce ready and involved in the community.
The Chop’s Interact Club, sponsored by Santa Rosa Rotary West focuses on the development of leadership skills through service to others. An off-shoot of Rotary International, Interact attracts high achieving well rounded students. Universities from around the country are known to give preference to students who list Interact Club on their college applications. Our Chop’s Interact Club averages 15 members per meeting, and attracts students from all high schools in the area. Our ambitious group has adopted a neighborhood park to maintain, they fill back packs with school supplies for underprivileged kids, and assist with needs at Silvercrest Retirement Home.
We recently launched a work ready certification program in collaboration with the Sonoma County Office of Education called RU Ready, a six-week course focusing on 15 competencies that Sonoma County employers identified as essential for success. This interactive program includes interviews by a panel of community business members and concludes with an updated resume and the skills and confidence to ensure success on the job. Two important results are garnered from the program; teens are equipped with the knowledge of how to get and keep jobs, which in turn provides a stronger workforce for Sonoma County.
In an effort to provide academic support for teens, we have teamed up with Graton Rancheria and now offer twice weekly free tutoring sessions with the goal of accurately completing homework assignments and improving grades.
In addition to running the Chop’s sports programs and Rock Wall, Sonoma State student Justin Atkinson also runs the Guy’s Group, which focuses on team building and community service. The group provides a platform for teen boys to increase their self-confidence and follow-through with projects. They recently served a meal at St. Vincent De Paul’s, provided some landscaping help at Kid Street Learning Center, and are embarking on a Food Drive to provide much needed food items to the S.A.Y. (Social Advocates for Youth)Teen Food Pantry.
We take every opportunity we can to honor our teen members, and one very special way we do that is with our Honored Members Program. Every other month our staff recommends both a teen girl and boy to become Honored Members. Based on behavior, respect and our Code of Conduct, these model members are celebrated with a photograph and biography hung in our lobby area. This program is very popular with the teens; they strive to meet the criteria to be chosen and honored by both their peers and the staff here at Chop’s. And we don’t stop there. Upon completion of their tenure, we move the Honored Member photo and bio to our board room, where the staff and board members enjoy a visual reminder of the important and impactful work we do here at Chop’s, serving our teens.
Congratulations to our current Honored Members, Melody Kang and Kyle McGruder. Melody is one of our youngest members, and is a constant contributor, helping with numerous Chop’s events including the Art Gala and our Unveiling Event. Outside of Chop’s, Melody enjoys drama classes and spending time with her siblings.
Kyle is an active member at Chop’s, and accompanied our staff when we received a Proclamation from the City of Santa Rosa. A freshman at Montgomery High School, Kyle plays soccer and basketball and is an active dancer who hopes to become a dance choreographer.
While we encourage our teens to take some down time and enjoy the tech lounge, a game of hoops or perhaps create a work of art, what we pride ourselves on is the quality and quantity of the programs we offer. Carefully designed to meet the interests of teens, we provide programs rich in content, covering a wide array of areas. Here’s a sampling of our programs:
Culinary Teens can take part in culinary and barista instruction in our teaching kitchen and espresso station. Basic kitchen skills, meal and drink preparation are taught, as well as cooking and serving instruction that provide employable skills. Teens can also join the catering crew and participate in providing food service at Chop’s events, such as the Art Gala.
Art Our Art Studio exposes teens to a wide range of creative activities and genres. Through workshops and classes, teens are engaged in art disciplines that include pottery, ceramics and painting. The Art Studio also participates in large scale community events.
Sports and Fitness Chop’s houses a ¾ size gymnasium, complete with a state of the art 35 foot Rock Wall with five levels of difficulty. Activities in the gym include basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, badminton, indoor soccer, group games and more.
Music and Recording Our Recording Studio is home to instruction on drums, guitars, keyboards and more. Open jam sessions allow teens to create original music, and Chop’s Rock Band Coaching provides young musicians rehearsal time and performance coaching.
Tech Lounge Chop’s Tech Lounge offers web access, computer technology, network gaming, console games (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3), space to complete homework and play board games.
Club 509 Rocks the House Club 509 is a nightclub just for teens inside Chop’s Teen Club complete with a spacious dance floor and club lighting. This ultra-cool club provides the teens a party-like atmosphere with booths to sit at and an amazing sound system. Our in-house café is open for members to purchase meals, tasty treats and drinks during drop in hours and during events. Club 509 is home to three dances per month; one for 7th to 10th graders, one for middle school students, and a social dance, where Nordquist Junior Dance Instructors provide social dance lessons. Our teens are thrilled to have Club 509, and attendance for dances is known to reach a whopping 250!
As we celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary, we can’t help but reflect on another important milestone, and give a shout out to one of our own. Melissa Stewart began volunteering here at Chop’s soon after we opened in 2001. At age fifteen Melissa had benefitted from a program dedicated to affording adolescents positive life lessons. The lessons resonated with Melissa, and became imbedded into the fabric of her life. In her eagerness to “give back”, she found Chop’s to be the perfect place to act on her passion for helping others and began volunteering here. Soon after, Melissa became a staff member, managing the Chop’s Café. Ten years later, Melissa is now the Program and Events Director, a demanding, multi-tasking, creatively fueled job.
It’s actually a family affair, as Melissa’s husband Koy is Chop’s IT/Operations Manager, and has been with Chop’s even longer than Melissa! In his 11 years with Chop’s, Koy has done nearly every job, and has contributed greatly to the overall success of the organization. Raising three sons, Melissa and Koy are invested in the values that guide the Chop’s mission to provide Santa Rosa teens with healthy and vibrant programs. We look forward to realizing Melissa’s visions of new and innovative programs to further enhance Chop’s as a place where Santa Rosa teens are encouraged to discover their unique talents and to thrive.
Chop’s Virtual Tour
Chop’s Teen Club Hours
Middle School: Monday -Friday
12:00 to 7:00 p.m.
12:00 to 7:00 p.m.
High School: Monday - Thursday
12:00 to 7:00 p.m.
12:00 to 10:00 p.m.
12:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Upcoming EventsJun19Wed3:00 pm Clay & PotteryClay & PotteryJun 19 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pmJoin us and have fun learning basic to intermediate clay techniques in wheel throwing, hand building, and glazing!@ These workshops are designed to inspire teens [...]Jun20Thu3:00 pm Urban Spray & Acrylic PaintingUrban Spray & Acrylic PaintingJun 20 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pmGet in on the fun with downtown artist Brino for this painting workshop! Brino will lead the class through the elements of design, teach you [...]Jun21Fri3:00 pm Fine Arts 101Fine Arts 101Jun 21 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pmTake this opportunity to learn painting techniques in our Art Studio! You’ll learn how to plan and execute a piece that you can proudly display. [...]3:00 pm Urban Spray & Acrylic PaintingUrban Spray & Acrylic PaintingJun 21 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pmGet in on the fun with downtown artist Brino for this painting workshop! Brino will lead the class through the elements of design, teach you [...]4:00 pm Summertime Outdoor Cooking: Pork TenderloinSummertime Outdoor Cooking: Por…Jun 21 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pmJoin us for the popular summer cooking tradition of grilling and barbequing. In this series we will learn how to properly handle and cook chicken, [...]Jun22Sat3:00 pm Fine Arts 101Fine Arts 101Jun 22 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pmTake this opportunity to learn painting techniques in our Art Studio! You’ll learn how to plan and execute a piece that you can proudly display. [...]
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Santa Rosa’s Premier Teen Club