Below is VOA Alaska’s November 2023 Newsletter. To receive this newsletter and other updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.
At VOA Alaska, we have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. It is a privilege to continue to serve our community daily on the front lines of the youth mental health crisis.
We are thankful to our committed staff, who consistently provide quality care and support one another in this challenging yet deeply rewarding work.
We are thankful to our steadfast supporters who make it possible for us to continue to meet the rising needs of youth and families.
And we are thankful for everyone who trusts us with their care. We are honored to be a part of the healing process for all people, families, and communities we serve.
We hope our message of gratitude finds you well, feeling thankful, and enjoying time with those you love.
Awards Season: Best Workplace Winners and Gold Pan Finalist!
For the second year, VOA Alaska has received a Best Workplaces Alaska award! Recognition for the award is determined by feedback directly from staff, highlighting the impact of our commitment to building a work culture of belonging, wellness, and professional growth.
Additionally, VOA Alaska was a finalist for the Non-profit Above and Beyond Award at Anchorage Chamber of Commerce’s Gold Pan Awards. It was a beautiful evening celebrating the impact of local businesses and organizations, and it was an honor for us to be nominated and recognized among others doing incredible work in our community. Congratulations to Hospice of Anchorage for taking home the gold pan!
But wait, there’s more! Julia Luey, President and CEO, was recently awarded the first-ever “Shooting Star” award at the Alaska Behavioral Health Association’s fall conference. The award recognized Julia as an emerging leader in the field of behavioral health in Alaska.
In addition to winning the award, Julia joined ABHA as a board member. VOA’s CEO was elected to serve on the board to elevate issues related to Alaska’s youth behavioral health system and influence statewide policies. Congratulations, Julia!
VOA Alaska’s Board Selects New Chair and Vice Chair
During their annual meeting in October, VOA Alaska’s Board of Directors selected Lee Post as Board Chair and Jackie Engebretson as Vice Chair.
Lee retired as the Chief of Juvenile Probation for the Anchorage area in 2021 and is a talented illustrator, art educator, and graphic recorder. He shares that “it’s an honor to serve as the Chair for the Board of Directors. I have a long history working with VOA Alaska, going back over twenty years during my time with the Division of Juvenile Justice, working together to provide youth in crisis with treatment options and a healthy connection to their community.”
Jackie is the Director of Behavioral Health at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and has extensive experience in the substance use and mental health fields. She shares that she looks forward to “serving as VOA Alaska’s Vice Chair and working collaboratively to ensure Alaska’s youth and families are supported. I especially look forward to collaborating to strengthen relationships with Tribal and rural communities.”
Let’s Talk About Underage Drinking: December Town Hall
“We must take action to stop this cycle and prevent addiction from developing in the first place. It will take this entire community working together to protect our youth and give them a healthy future.” – Youth speaker at VOA’s Fall Town Hall
Join us at our next town hall on December 12 to talk about promoting healthy choices for youth and how to build a community that supports all youth to thrive. Hear directly from Anchorage teens!
The town hall is hosted by VOA Alaska and the Center for Safe Alaskans. Free dinner will be provided, and all attendees are eligible for the prize drawing!
Town Hall – Underage Drinking, A Youth Perspective
Tuesday, December 12 – 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
BP Energy Center
1014 Energy Court, Anchorage
RSVP to receive Zoom link
This Holiday Season, Be the Light for Alaska’s Youth
It only takes one person to make a difference in the life of a youth who is suffering.
Bring joy to youth and families through a monetary donation, by fulfilling a wish list item from our Amazon wish list, or with a gift card that can help provide a special meal, help with transportation costs, or share in a fun, spirit-lifting activity. Be the light today at voaak.org/donate.