Below is VOA Alaska’s November 2022 Newsletter. To receive this newsletter and other updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.
“Wherever VOA is, that’s where they are shedding light,” Lonnie Ridgeway, Board Member
Click on the video below to hear from VOA Alaska’s board members on how our team shows up everyday to shine a light in the darkness for Alaska’s youth.
By supporting VOA Alaska, you are investing in a dedicated team and ensuring the financial capacity of those most vulnerable is never a barrier in accessing care. With youth wellbeing a top concern in Alaska as well as nationwide, it will take all of us working together as a community to turn the tide, bring back the light, and end suffering for youth throughout Alaska.
It only takes one person to make a difference in a youth’s life, please join us and Be the Light for Alaska’s youth at voaak.org/bethelight.
VOA’s Young Parent Café: Helping parents in recovery find support and connection
Making social connections and finding support as a young parent can be a challenge. Being a young parent in recovery only magnifies those challenges. VOA Alaska’s new Young Parent Café is an innovative new supportive group that provides a fun, warm, and supportive environment to find connection and learn from other young parents.
One parent expressed that she “really loved this group” simply because she got to be around other young moms.
At VOA Alaska, no one walks alone in their journey. The Young Parent Café is creating more opportunities to share knowledge, build meaningful relationships, and find joy.
Welcome to Our New Board Members!
VOA Alaska is guided by a passionate team of community leaders and accomplished professionals. They bring decades of combined experience across industries to support VOA Alaska’s mission. The Board recently welcomed four new members to their ranks:
Kim Kovol is Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Family and Community Services. She has over 25 years of experience in the private sector in executive leadership, management, operating licensed childcare facilities, organizational development and restructure, logistics, and working in the human and social services realm with youth and adults.
Maria Hernandez is the Principal of Steller Secondary School. She joined the Anchorage School District 20 years ago and has served in a variety of roles, from high school counselor, student wellness advocate, to heading the District’s Project Management Office.
Jackie Engebretson, MSW, is Director of Behavioral Health at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. She has extensive experience in the substance use and mental health fields, including historical/intergenerational trauma, opioid use disorders, and medication assisted treatment.
Lonnie Ridgeway is Owner of Ridgeway Family Business, LLC. He is a former VOA Alaska staff member, and in addition to operating Ridgeway Assisted Living and ALH Consulting and Training, he is a high school basketball coach for Dimond High School and an educator for 94ft Athletics and Make Yourself Unstoppable sports programs.