[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | New ‘Zone’ on Ruether Offers Safe Haven for Teens | 06-20-2012
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
87°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 22
1891 - Future First Lady Lou Henry (Hoover), 17, poses for photo at R.E. Nickel's Acton store [story]


It was standing room only as more than 100 Santa Clarita Valley community leaders, young people and parents gathered Tuesday night for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and presentations from local political representatives to celebrate the grand opening of the Action Family Zone for teens.

Located on Reuther Avenue just north of Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country and open Monday through Friday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., “The Zone” (as it’s called for short) offers a safe, productive environment for middle-school- and high-school-age students ages 13-17, with activities and resources geared toward them.

The Zone features a music room stocked with guitars, amps and drums, an art studio, pool and ping-pong tables, computers, video games, a big-screen TV and more.

Resources available include homework tutoring and a wide range of workshops, including money management, life skills, nutrition and family workshops for teens as well as their parents, all free of charge.

It’s a place where teens can not only have fun, but also meet others, build social skills, and get assistance when they need it, according to its founders.

The Action Family Zone is a joint venture between the non-profit Action: A Parent-Teen Support Program headed by Cary Quashen, founder and CEO of Action Family Counseling (and host of the weekly “Families in Action” program on KHTS-AM 1220), and Alex Urbina, a transformational family life coach who’s worked with teens and parents for the past 15 years (and hosts the weekly “Life Leadership” program on KHTS).

Photo by Stephen K. Peeples

The organizations have put about $80,000 into leasing the space and purchasing furniture, equipment and other gear into The Zone.

“It’s been a vision of Action’s for many years to have our own teen center, and now it’s open,” said Quashen, who has dedicated the past 30 years to working with teens throughout the Hart School District, and is a nationally recognized expert on working with adolescents.

“This place is going to be exciting,” he said. Along with the aforementioned gear, “We’re going to have a lot of life leadership activities, teach kids how to do resumes, you name it. What’s needed, we have here.”

The Zone is a “clean and sober environment” designed to help teens discover who they are, and ways they can achieve their dreams and goals, Quashen said.

“It’s the launch of our prevention program, under the non-profit entity of Action Family Counseling,” he said. “We want to inspire kids so they make good choices early.”

“One of Cary’s main visions is to reach kids and help them build self-esteem before they get to the point that they’re in trouble,” said Urbina, who serves as The Zone’s director of training and education. “And I’ve always dreamed of opening my own personal development teen center. So I think we met at the right time and aligned our visions and partnered up to launch this center for our community.”

Quashen and Urbina oversee a small on-site staff headed by former Sanctuary Church youth pastor and program advisor Tim Salzarulo, assisted by Naomi Cherrygate.

“Tim is the director of this place — he’s going to make sure it’s running correctly and the operations are going smoothly,” Quashen said. “Naomi’s going to be right in the heart of everything, working with the kids and making sure everybody’s having a good ol’ time.”

Salzarulo said kids can get two things from The Zone. “First, they can get plugged into good relationships to continue to push them toward good things, and that they’ll have a place to continue to develop things they’re interested in — their art, their skills, math, whatever it is that they like.

“Also, there’s a lot of great organizations in this valley that are here to help teens, but they’re so spread out, teens don’t know where to get help,” Salzarulo said. “So, from Action Family Counseling, which deals with drug and alcohol abuse, to kids that get pregnant and don’t know what to do, or they’re dealing with domestic violence issues… we want to cover all those things so they’re able to come here and get help in any area.”

Salzarulo said Cherrygate’s role “is to be an advocate for the teenagers to continue to keep connected with them. She’ll also deal with all of the processing, phones, getting out a lot of our advertising, and she’s the first person that people see in here. She’ll be in the front office.”

Augmenting the staff is The Zone’s Leadership Team, which includes peer mentors like Jode Long, 16, a student at Bowman High School.

“Being on the Leadership Team means I get to be an example for other kids, and I get to help them go through things that I’ve already been through,” Long said. “On the team, we get to interact with a lot of kids who have gone through the exact same things that we’ve gone through, so it’s just a really cool experience and I’m happy that I’m on it.”

Urbina said part of the vision for The Zone is to provide teens with various means for self-expression.

“In the art room, kids can express what they’re feeling and let some of their emotions translate on paper and through their art,” he said. “In the music room, they can just pick up an instrument and try it. We’re big advocates of helping kids discover what they’re passionate about. We know that sometimes you can’t figure out what your passion is until you’re tried a few things.”

Urbina emphasized The Zone isn’t just a place to park on the cushy couch and watch TV or play games all the time. The Zone is more like a “personal growth center,” as it’s described in an introductory brochure.

“Membership is free, meaning it doesn’t cost any money, but we are asking for the parents and teens to make a commitment to participate,” Urbina said. “So your ‘fee’ is participation. It’s not just a hangout. It’s a place where you’re showing up with a commitment that you’re going to grow and you’re going to participate, discover and be self-aware.”

“We expect parents to participate in workshops, as part of our family connection,” Quashen said. “They could drop their kids off here, but in order for a kid to be involved in this place, the parents also have to be involved, and there have to be commitments on the parent or parents’ parts to be involved in this center.”

The Zone may not be open on weekends, but “there will be different activities every Saturday, and on evenings we’ll have different stuff going on,” Quashen said, including field trips and hikes on local trails.

Quashen and Urbina both emphasize The Zone is for all teens 13-17, not just kids at risk. “Whether you’re a high academic scholar or an athlete or a leadership kid or an at-risk kid, our workshops are designed to meet you where are, and open up possibilities for you to take you to your next level,” Urbina said. “So it’s not for ‘those kids’ — it’s for all teenagers.”

“Our motto is ‘It Takes a Village,'” Urbina said, “so we want to partner up with (parents) and say that when your kids are here, you can count on us to hold to higher standards to help raise your kids.”

After accepting congratulatory certficates and plaques from representatives of U.S. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, state Senators Sharon Runner and Tony Strickland, state Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, the City of Santa Clarita, and the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, Quashen said, “We want to thank the Santa Clarita Valley community for trusting us with your children.”

Find The Zone at 20655 Soledad Canyon Road, Suite 24, off Reuther Avenue in Canyon Country. For more information, visit www.actionfamily.org.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NONPROFIT LINKS

NONPROFIT HEADLINES
Tuesday, Aug 22, 2017
A Domestic Violence Center, Senior Center and homeless shelter partnership is looking for solutions to the countywide homelessness crisis in Santa Clarita.
Tuesday, Aug 22, 2017
WiSH Foundation Executive Director Amy Daniels is about climb for education.
Tuesday, Aug 22, 2017
Join The Painted Turtle on October 14, 2017 for the 8th annual bike ride and 2nd annual walk/run/roll to benefit the non-profit.
Monday, Aug 21, 2017
The Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club invites everyone who shares a special connection with the club to the Alumni BBQ on Saturday afternoon, September 9.
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
Habitat for Humanity SFV/SCV is honored to have received a $25,000 grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, which will fund trauma workshops.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
A Domestic Violence Center, Senior Center and homeless shelter partnership is looking for solutions to the countywide homelessness crisis in Santa Clarita.
Three Local Non-Profits Look to Tackle Housing Crisis
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, CHP is investigating a fatal collision that happened early Tuesday morning near Castaic. Plus, photographers can get ready to submit their Santa Clarita-centric photos for the Fall 2017 Photo Contest. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, August 22, 2017
WiSH Foundation Executive Director Amy Daniels is about climb for education.
WiSH Foundation’s E.D. to Climb Kilimanjaro for Public Education
Registration for the Fall session is now open.
Lil’ Kickers Fall Registration Underway
The CSUN Art Galleries are pleased to present part two of an exhibition featuring artwork made by full and part-time faculty in the Department of Art. More than thirty artists showcase current bodies of work, using a variety of materials and processes.
CSUN Faculty Artwork on Display in “Full and Part (Two)” Exhibit
Here are the upcoming times and dates for the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Emerging Leaders Series:
Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Series Resumes Wednesday
Mayor Cameron Smyth, Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste and Councilmembers Bill Miranda, Marsha McLean and Bob Kellar cordially invite you to party like it’s 1987 at the 2017 State of the City Luncheon to be held on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
Oct. 26: State of the City 30th Anniversary Luncheon
Join The Painted Turtle on October 14, 2017 for the 8th annual bike ride and 2nd annual walk/run/roll to benefit the non-profit.
Oct. 14: Tour de Turtle, Turtle Trek Bike Ride
Here is a round-up of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Aug. 25-26th.
Aug. 25-26: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
The 2017 CIF Southern Section Football Pre-Season Rankings have been released and a local team finds itself at the top of its division.
CIF Pre-Season Rankings Lists Saugus Football No. 1 in Division
The Castaic-area crash that killed a motorcyclist on Highway 126 Tuesday morning is still being investigated by CHP officers.
Officers Investigating Fatality on Highway 126
The County and City of Los Angeles are asking that residents complete the Purposeful Aging Los Angeles (PALA) Age-Friendly Survey between now and September 15, 2017.
Officials Urge Residents to Complete Survey on Aging
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Hilda L. Solis which seeks to organize and enhance efforts by county departments and community partners to help foster youth transition to successful adulthood.
County Expands its Efforts in Foster Youth Programs
A bank robbery at the Wescom Credit Union in Stevenson Ranch is under investigation by deputies, officials reported Monday afternoon.
Deputies Investigating Stevenson Ranch Bank Robbery
The contenders for the Best FIFA Women's Player 2017 have been revealed and voting is now underway.
Blue Heat’s Castellanos Makes FIFA’s Shortlist for Best Women’s Player 2017
1891 - Future First Lady Lou Henry (Hoover), 17, poses for photo at R.E. Nickel's Acton store [story]
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to a possible burglary call at a warehouse in the 29000 block of Avenue Sherman in Valencia Monday morning.
SCV Deputies Investigate Reported Valencia Warehouse Burglary
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a once-in-a-century solar experience took place Monday. Plus, on Saturday, dozens of people gathered in Newhall to celebrate the legacy of the old Saugus Speedway, its racers and its crew. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, August 21, 2017
The 28th Annual Fine Art Show & Gala presented by the Santa Clarita Artists Association and the county of Los Angeles takes over Hart Hall on Saturday afternoon, October 14.
October 14: SCAA, County’s 28th Annual Art Classic at Hart Park
Organizers of the city of Santa Clarita's quarterly photo contest are now accepting entries for the fall 2017 competition.
City Opens Entries for Fall 2017 Photo Contest
The Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club invites everyone who shares a special connection with the club to the Alumni BBQ on Saturday afternoon, September 9.
September 9: Boys & Girls Club Alumni & Friends BBQ
Comedian and magician Fritz Coleman brings his stand-up show to Santa Clarita with an intimate, one-time performance at the Keyboard Galleria Music Center on Saturday, August 26.
August 26: Comic Fritz Coleman Stands Up at Keyboard Galleria
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station issued 38 traffic citations Friday and arrested a Newhall man on a parole violation warrant on Saturday.
Deputies Cite Speeders, Arrest Parolee
Lancaster JetHawks right-handed pitcher Jesus Tinoco has been named the California League Pitcher of the Week for August 14-20, 2017.
JetHawks’ Tinoco Named Cal League Pitcher of the Week
The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson and cash considerations from the New York Mets in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Dodgers Aqcuire Outfielder Curtis Granderson from Mets
The TMU Mustangs' women's volleyball home opener proved to be exactly what the doctor ordered as the hosts dispatched Lewis & Clark State College (ID) in straight sets 25-19, 25-22, 25-17.
Lady Mustangs Dispatch Lewis & Clark in Straight Sets
The Master's University's men's soccer team inaugurated their 2017 season with a 5-0 win over Northwest of Washington on Reese Field Saturday afternoon.
TMU Men’s Soccer Blanks Northwest in Season Opener
The Master’s University women’s soccer team’s 2017 record improved to 2-0 after beating the No. 8 ranked Northwest University Eagles 3-1 on Saturday morning at Reese Field.
TMU Women’s Soccer Team Grounds Eagles 3-1 Saturday
CalArtians Mathieu Libman (Film/Video BFA 19) and Aram Sarkisian (Film/Video BFA 17) are among the seven finalists for Student Academy Awards in the Animation category.
Two CalArtians Named 2017 Student Academy Awards Finalists
Western singer and songwriter John Zipperer headlines the next episode of "SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series" at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall the evening of Friday, August 25.
August 25: John Zipperer Headlines ‘SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series’
The Lancaster JetHawks clinched a franchise-record sixth consecutive winning season with their 71st victory, a 7-2 win over the Inland Empire 66ers, on Sunday afternoon at San Manuel Stadium.
JetHawks Sweep Sixers Sunday, Secure Winning Season
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and the city of Santa Clarita launch the “Heads Up” campaign this week to combat distracted driving and increase pedestrian safety.
City, Sheriff’s Station Launch ‘Heads Up’ Safety Campaign
An 18-year-old man from Lancaster surrendered to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Special Victims Unit Monday morning in connection with an alleged sexual assault earlier this month on College of the Canyons' Valencia campus.
Suspect Arrested in Alleged COC Sexual Assault
The Lancaster JetHawks scored seven runs in the fifth inning, propelling themselves to a 9-4 win over the Inland Empire 66ers on Saturday night at San Manuel Stadium.
Seven-Run Fifth Inning Carries JetHawks to Win Saturday
Hundreds of drivers were screened in a DUI checkpoint in Stevenson Ranch Friday night, but no arrests were made, CHP officials said.
CHP DUI Checkpoint Screens Hundreds of Drivers
1961 - CalArts grad (MFA '92) and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob SquarePants, born in Oklahoma; developed prototype for Spongebob while studying at CalArts in 1989. Estimated net worth in 2012: $90 million [story]