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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Jeremiah's Promise assists foster youth in bridging gap to adulthood



Jeremiah’s Promise made all the difference in the world for An Tran, a 21-year-old foster youth who found herself without a home when she turned 18. Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Imagine navigating into adulthood without the warm embrace of a parent’s hug. In a world that spins quickly around them, when foster youth age out and become emancipated from the system that supported them, they often follow a lonely path.

Fate proved different for An Tran, 21, who found her way to California after aging out of the foster-care system in another state. She landed in the supportive enclave of Jeremiah’s Promise – a local nonprofit that provides one-on-one mentoring, college and career support and web-based life coaching to 17- to 24-year-old former foster youth.

“Jeremiah’s Promise helped me see the brighter side of things,” said Tran, crediting her trained adult mentor, a science researcher at Stanford University who gave her the encouragement and direction to complete her GED and enroll in West Valley College to study biomedical engineering.

The journey wasn’t always easy for Tran, who experienced problems within her foster families and felt ignored by the legal foster-care system.

“After you age out, you literally get dumped on the street,” she said.

The Santa Clara County Department of Family & Child Services reports that 150 young adults age out of foster care in the county each year.

Without photo identification or a birth certificate, tasks like opening a bank account and applying for a job became nearly impossible for Tran.

She received invaluable support from Jeremiah’s Promise.

The organization treated her with respect, she said, asking what she needed to improve her life situation. She identified things as basic as a new pair of glasses and school supplies to more sustainable resources like life skills and relationship-building advice.

“The greatest need of our clients is to heal the very damaging emotional and physical scars left from years of childhood abuse or exploitation,” Jeremiah’s Promise founder and CEO Kim Golter said. “The second greatest need is to find people who will support, encourage and challenge them to become the people they were born to be.”

Jeremiah’s Promise volunteer Carolyn Robinson has experience working with foster youth at an area correctional institution. She became involved as a workshop instructor.

“I hear it every day: ‘If only I had this information earlier, I would have done things differently,’” she said.

Together with a dozen regular volunteers, Robinson played an integral role in instructing and mentoring 115 students through Jeremiah’s Promise community college workshops in 2013. The organization also provided donations and support to more than 180 emancipated foster youth and dependents in a local transitional housing program.

With the launch of a new web-based coaching tool that will be accessible to local workshop participants and emancipated foster youth from across the country, Golter sees the impact of Jeremiah’s Promise’s work expanding even more in the future.

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