Sunset at Potter Marsh on the last day of August. Photo by Dj Tyson.

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September 2020 Newsletter

The seasons are changing once again, but as we have for the last 40 years, VOA Alaska is here to help our community weather the storms. Continue reading for the latest news on how we are supporting and empowering Alaska’s youth and families.

Join Us in Celebrating Recovery Month

September is Recovery Month, a national campaign held every year to educate Americans that substance misuse treatment and mental health services can help people live healthy and rewarding lives.

To raise awareness of the power of recovery, we’ve partnered with Kaladi Brothers Coffee to stock Anchorage café locations with specially designed coffee sleeves inspired by youth in recovery. The sleeves are meant as conversation starters, an invitation to share your story or to ask for help to begin your own journey.

When you get a coffee sleeve with your drink, share a photo with us! Tag VOA Alaska on Facebook and Instagram with #recoveryak, and you could win a gift card for more coffee!

We’re also sharing stories of recovery from VOA Alaska staff. Many on our team have similar journeys to the youth we support every day. Their courage and experience are an invaluable asset to this community and the work we do within it. Read these stories, and share your own, at voaak.org/recovery.

Growing to Meet the Need – Additional School-Based Services Coming Soon to Anchorage

VOA Alaska is honored to have the opportunity to serve more youth in our community, thanks to support from the Anchorage Municipality. Last month, the Anchorage Assembly approved funding to expand mental health supports offered within the Anchorage School District. This award enables VOA, in partnership with Providence, to expand school-based services to an additional 12 schools within the district. Prior to the award, VOA provided mental health services within four schools in the district. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need for behavioral health supports, and we’re prepared to answer the call.
 
Students visiting our school-based clinicians report feeling better about themselves, are able to better identify and manage their feelings, have better problem-solving skills, and improved relationships with family and peers. Parents of participating students have reported seeing improvements in the home and feel the support has helped their student’s academic performance.
 
Dedicated mental health clinicians are an integral part of the school climate. Seeking and receiving help is one less source of stress for these students and their families.

Celebrating 10 Years at VOA Alaska

Kristin Stadsklev first joined VOA Alaska in 2010 at our youth residential treatment facility. This past January, she accepted the position to lead the ARCH program. The pandemic arrived in Alaska shortly after, but Kristin has confidentially guided her team through the constantly changing landscape. 

Thank you, Kristin, for your leadership, commitment, drive, spunk, and friendship you have given all of us who have the pleasure to work alongside you. Thank you for the belief you have in those we serve, the love you share with them and our teams.

Interested in working alongside dedicated and passionate team members, like Kristin? Visit our Careers page to learn more about opportunities available right now.

Kinship School Supply Drive

Thank you to everyone who answered the call from our last newsletter to support our Kinship Family Program’s School Supply Drive. With your help, and the generous support of Shear Excellence Hair Salon, Axiom Armored Transport, and Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, our staff was able to assemble and deliver 24 backpacks stocked with pencils, paper, and everything students need to start the school year right. By providing supplies and technology for families, the Kinship Program helped ease the stress for students and their relative caregivers during this unknown time.

While the push for back-to-school supplies has passed, the youth and families served at VOA Alaska are always in need of community love and support. Join us in supporting Alaska’s most vulnerable by making an online donation today. Together we are changing the lives of Alaska’s youth.


Partner Spotlight

The coffee sleeves you saw at the top of the newsletter were made possible with GCI’s support. They are committed to encouraging conversations about recovery to help eliminate the stigma associated with seeking help for substance misuse and mental health concerns.
 
GCI has been a long-time partner of VOA Alaska and is always ready to lean in and support the needs of our community. In the early days of the pandemic, GCI donated tablets to help our clients connect to services. In May, they  helped us celebrate our VOA graduates by donating smartphones and swag bags to VOA Alaska clients graduating from high school.
 
Thank you, GCI, for your commitment to supporting Alaska’s youth and families!

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