Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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