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Our New Nonprofit, Ventana Sierra

You may have seen mentions somewhere of a new nonprofit, Ventana Sierra. This is my vision, my way of helping young people in need well into the future. My books may have helped them emotionally, but now I want to help in an even more substantial way.We hope to have the pilot program in place by January 1, 2013, and we're working hard to get there. So what is Ventana Sierra?

The program will focus on young people, 18-25, who have big dreams but no way to realize them. Ventana Sierra will provide housing, transportation, meals, life skills classes and education, including GED and community college programs, and trade training--apprenticeships under professional electricians, plumbers, landscapers, roofers, etc. Our goal is to guide our clients onto solid career paths that will allow them to become productive members of their communities.

We foresee serving youth transitioned out of foster care, or turned out on their own by caregivers unwilling or unable to continue care, as well as those who simply can't make it on their own. The desire to succeed must be there. Applicants will be screened, and priority give to determined individuals with career goals in mind. Those accepted must agree to live substance-free in shared family-style housing for the duration of the two-year program, and maintain successful evaluations throughout. As a way of giving back to the program, clients will help refurbish properties for those who will follow them, creating dynamic forward movement into the future.

We are in the process of acquiring our first house, and hope to have it in place by the turn of the New Year. Our website is under construction, but will soon have applications available. As this is our first year, and we're still seeking funding, one house serving up to six clients may be all we can offer, but we're hoping to double that within eighteen months. 

More to come very soon. I promise to keep you informed of our progress and will let you know as soon as the application process begins. I'm so excited!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 9th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
This is fabulous. There is such a gap for youth of that age to get any kind of long-term residential care and guidance. Will you be also working with youth that have mental/behavioral health issues?
Neysa Jensen
Nov. 9th, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
Where will this be?
Hey Ellen, this is awesome. Is it just for young people in Nevada, or anywhere?

Nov. 10th, 2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
This is amazing and wonderful. Looking forward to the donation link coming up so I can help. :)
Heidi Christopher
Nov. 11th, 2012 06:14 am (UTC)
I agree with this completely.. Just be careful people do not take advantage of your good intentions.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )