A Prideful Month at Penny Lane Centers- Past Events

July 2, 2024

Emo Day at the AV-TAY Center

Emo Day at the TAY center is an enthralling day designed to celebrate and support the unique identities and emotional journeys of our youths. Participants were encouraged to express themselves through emo-inspired fashion, music, and art which creates a safe and inclusive environment where all individuals are valued. At the TAY center, Emo Day introduced an open discussion about mental health and self-expression finding solidarity in different emotional struggles. This day promoted a sense of community and an understanding of acceptance of diverse perspectives from our youth!

-Alondra Conde, Penny Lane Centers

Check out some more photos below!

Pride Lunch & Learns

With June being Pride Month, Judy Grant and I, Summer Gomez, went to each of our Penny Lane offices and offered a Lunch & Learn – Pride and Pronouns!  These were wonderful opportunities for all of us to learn together and learn from each other.  Rainbow flags were waving, and stories were shared as we dove into the importance of pronouns.  

Although sometimes gender identity and pronouns can feel so new to us, in fact Transgender and Non-Binary identities have existed as long as humanity has!  Judy and I talked about some of the amazing Transgender and Non-Binary folks who have made history, including Marsha P. Johnson – who legend has it threw the first brick at the Stonewall Riots in June of 1969.  

We then discussed the psychological impact that misgendering someone by using their deadname (the name they went by prior to “coming out” as transgender or non-binary) or incorrect pronouns can have.  As we aim to transform lives, we need to be cognizant of how we demonstrate inclusivity to ensure that our clients are feeling seen and heard.  Using the correct pronoun is just one way that we can do that.  

Lunch and Learns provide us with a safe space to have these discussions, which are critical to enhancing our understanding so we can better serve our clients, colleagues, and community.  Staff were given an opportunity to share their pronouns with a Get to Know Me activity, discuss Why it Matters and learn how to repair when we get it wrong.  

In closing, we validated that it can all be confusing – and messy!  It is so important for us to educate ourselves and respect the wishes of our LGBTQIA+ community to promote the well-being of our clients, friends, and family who identify as transgender or non-binary.  I want to give a big “Thank You” to all of you who came out to talk together, learn together, and share a meal together!

-Summer Gomez, Penny Lane Centers

Community Spirit at Sun Commons

June has been a month filled with joy and community spirit here at Sun Commons. We kicked off the month with vibrant Pride celebrations, honoring Pride Month, and the diversity within our community. Throughout June, we've engaged both kids and adults with a variety of activities aimed at fostering unity and fun.

Our Juneteenth celebration was a highlight of the month, where children participated in the Drum to LEARN program. This initiative not only entertained but also educated, teaching our youth about unity and cultural heritage through drumming. Families also got a chance to learn by touring a small exhibit that was put together where families were able to see pictures and read about pioneers of Juneteenth and how the day became a Federal Holiday. Families of all backgrounds came together that day in Unity to celebrate freedom!

Mid-month, we introduced our inaugural Spirit Week, which saw an incredible turnout with 11 households participating every day. Each day featured a unique theme, from Pajama Day to Crazy Hair Day, culminating in Hawaiian Day with a festive pizza party. The enthusiasm and participation were inspiring!

We're proud to recognize the dedication of those who participated in Spirit Week. Five individuals and one exceptional family were selected as winners through a raffle, celebrating their commitment to community and fun.

As we reflect on the joy and togetherness of June, we hope that events like Spirit Week and our Juneteenth celebration will become cherished traditions at Sun Commons. These activities not only bring us closer but also remind us of the strength and unity within our community.

Thank you to everyone who participated, volunteered, and supported these events. Your enthusiasm and spirit are what make our community here at Sun Commons truly special.

Wishing you all a wonderful July filled with warmth and happiness.

-Evelyn Pacheco, Penny Lane Centers

Client Success at the W

Adam has been one of our residents at the W since 01/2023. He was born in Lancaster, California, and spent most of his childhood living in Palmdale, California. He later moved to San Antonio, Texas, and then to Las Vegas, Nevada. Penny Lane has been instrumental in his journey, providing him with stable housing, work programs, and school programs. Currently, Adam works at Walgreens while pursuing his education in the healthcare field.

During his time at Penny Lane, Adam has been able to achieve certifications as a Home Health Aid and Nursing Assistant. Balancing his academic pursuits with a passion for caregiving, Adam is committed to making a positive impact in the healthcare field. Outside of his studies, he enjoys immersing himself in video games, playing basketball, and exploring various genres of music. His diverse interests and compassionate nature drive him to excel both in his professional and personal life.

We are thrilled to have the impact we have had on Adam. His success will continue on and we wish him all the best in his journey! We are so proud of him.

-Salvador Calderon, Penny Lane Centers