The Association of Community Human Service Agencies (ACHSA) recently held its annual luncheon at the Biltmore Hotel where more than 500 human services professionals came together to embrace the newest changes that took place this year to the mental health delivery system that directly serves Los Angeles County’s most vulnerable system-involved youth.
Among the highlights of ACHSA’s annual luncheon is the recognition of an individual with an inspirational story of personal triumph. ACHSA member agencies were encouraged to nominate a former client that best represents a story of personal achievement despite tremendous adversity.
This year Crittenton Services for Children and Families (CSCF) is proud to announce that 1 of the 5 inspirational award recipients selected by the ACHSA membership committee is none other than our current research assistant and former residential services client Lucero Noyola.
“Our 50-year mission is one of addressing childhood trauma and of helping troubled youth reach their fullest potential. Lucero’s story is a typical experience many “crossover youth”, or in other words a young person that is dually involved with the juvenile justice and foster care system, may share in common. However, her recent educational accomplishments while enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, and at the same time managing the responsibilities of a young single mother is nothing short of inspirational,” said Martha Jasso, Director of Communications, CSCF.
Crittenton is driven by trauma-informed care and incorporates the concept of positive youth development throughout the agency’s programming efforts. The agency also has a long history working with youth that have experienced the juvenile justice system, and it is with great pride that Crittenton works with youth in need of intensive behavioral and mental health services.
For those of us that know Lucero Noyola her story is a message of self-empowerment, resiliency, and determination that we can all take away and learn from.
Her story is in fact the embodiment of why the National Crittenton Mission was established in the first place. Our agency’s national legacy has more than 130 years of advocating and providing services and hope to vulnerable young women.
To say that Lucero is simply a Crittenton success story is an understatement. Her success is much more than just a testimonial to our legacy, but rather a testimonial to the need of continued and accessible mental health services for system-involved youth at critical junctures in their development process as well as when they transition out of system involvement.
It is with access to educational support services, life skills development opportunities and therapy that Lucero, a former client of Crittenton’s Residential Treatment Services program, was able to not just learn to cope with her under-addressed childhood trauma, but able to learn to move forward despite difficult circumstances.
Among Lucero’s current laurels of academic success include her acceptance to the University of Southern California as a transfer student; her involvement as a research assistant at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences where she was selected to travel to Dubai with the chair of Sociology department to collect and analyze data; her ability to manage her responsibilities as a single mother while double-majoring in Psychology and Sociology as a honors student; and her commitment in helping launch the Trojan Guardian Scholars Program where she also helps mentor current and former system-involved youth enrolled as college students at USC.
She is appreciative of Crittenton for empowering her to discover her own strengths while placed in our care, and of encouraging her to believe in her own resiliency. Lucero is someone who has first-hand knowledge of the challenges America’s foster care and juvenile justice youth face as they transition out of system-involvement, and hopes to one day help system-involved youth by pursuing a career in social services and research.
Related Reading from the National Crittenton Foundation on Juvenile Justice Reform and Adverse Childhood Experiences Research:
- Gender Injustice: System-Level Juvenile Justice Reforms for Girls
- Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) Survey Toolkit for Providers
Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive counseling, medical, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array of residential, in-home, community based, wraparound, mental health, foster care, and transitional age youth services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.