Albertsons Foundation Donates $1,500 to Feed Foster Youth

The Albertsons Companies Foundation donated $1,500 to help feed the foster youth of Trinity Youth Services’ (TYS) Short-Term Residential Treatment Program. Their dedication to helping the community has impacted the lives of foster youth in Apple Valley, El Monte, and Yucaipa.  

Keeping our youth healthy is our main priority and we appreciate the partnership of Albertsons Companies Foundation. The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic and transition to meet the requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (FFPSA), has tremendously effected TYS. It is thanks to organizations such as the Albertson’s Companies Foundation that we are able to continue helping children and families create a better future.  

To learn more about how you can help our foster youth, click here to get involved.

Isabel Millward-Pena, Communications Specialist
Isabel contributes content for our social media, blog, newsletters and promotional materials. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University San Bernardino and is currently working on her master’s degree. Isabel began working at Trinity as an intern, was hired as clerical, and was then promoted to communications in our development department. Prior to her work at Trinity, she was a substitute instructional aid and a supervisor at Starbucks. She has also volunteered as an aid at local elementary schools and notably achieved “Partner of the Quarter” at Starbucks in 2017. Isabel is an active member of Trinity’s Diversity, Inclusion, Value and Equity (DIVE) team and volunteers her time at the Children’s Foundation of America.

With the right support, at-risk youth can become resilient and successful adults. Manuel Munoz is a shining example of a how determination, patience, kindness, and support can give teens a better future. 

A proud graduate of Trinity Youth Services’ STRTP program, Manuel was surrounded by caring adults who invested in his future and gave him extra support in transforming challenging behaviors resulting from trauma.  

While in the program, Manuel learned the value of structure, and how to succeed financially, which helped him create his own successful business called Integrate LA, an apparel manufacturing company located in downtown Los Angeles. “We make samples, patterns and grading. We also do printing and embroidery,” says Manuel. 

Before coming to Trinity Youth Services, Manuel’s life was unstable and challenging, but deep inside, he wanted to have a better life. When he began working with the Trinity staff, Manuel was introduced to a new environment that helped him reach his full potential. 

According to Manuel, “Being at Trinity Youth Services helped me learn different things that I would be needing as I got older, such as saving money and having structure.  I also got to experience things I had never experienced before, such as going bike riding in Malibu or going hiking in the canyons.” 

One of the biggest challenges Manuel faced, was learning how to understand people, and see things from their perspective. He also learned how to follow rules, which was instrumental in helping him decrease challenging behaviors and achieve his goals in a timely manner. 

Working closely with the Trinity Youth Services staff allowed Manuel to feel respected and safe. According to Manuel, “A lot of the Trinity staff where amazing. They would try to relate to us and make us feel like we weren’t criminals. They also treated us with respect as long as we respected them.” 

Now an accomplished business owner, Manuel is passionate about inspiring current at-risk youth, because he believes that they can succeed. Manuel recently visited our El Monte campus, and bought pizza and soda for all the youth while inspiring them with his story. Cathleen Duran, El Monte Recreation Coordinator, was very impressed with Manuel’s success and stated, “Our youth enjoyed talking with him.” 

His advice to youth who want to follow in his footsteps is, “Keep going, stay hungry and never settle.” To find out more about Manuel Munoz, visit 

If you are interested in giving a teen a better future, and would like to learn more about how you can help by becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please call 888-346-9645, or click here to get started. 

florence-1Eve PowersFoster Care Marketing Specialist
Eve has a strong commitment to helping foster youth and their families thrive and live successful lives. A former foster youth, Eve obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Communications from California State University, San Bernardino, and is a certified Holistic Life Coach, motivational writer, self-help author and celebrity interviewer. Beyond the Trinity Youth Services blog, Eve’s articles can be found in numerous platforms including Foster Focus Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, BET Centric and Huffington Post. A passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community, Eve continues to educate, support and mentor foster youth throughout Southern California.

Halloween Smile

Apple Valley Halloween

Our sites are great about bringing normalcy to the children we care for. This includes celebrating everyday things like Halloween. We’d like to highlight some activities we were able to engage youth in–even during pandemic circumstances–to keep them from feeling isolated or bored.

Our Apple Valley STRTP campus held some wonderful festivities for the youth including a haunted house walk-through experience. Youth from each dorm explored our transformed mental health wing, where the therapists’ offices were decorated with spooky props. Youth then entered the training room, where Halloween music played and the team members served them a variety of treats, including chips, cookies, doughnuts, pie, and candy! Needless to say, our teen boys were very contented with their Halloween spooktacular.

Youth also got creative and made some remarkable creations to decorate their dorms for the Halloween season. Our staff instructed youth on how to make wooden nightlights and other arts and crafts.

The Children’s Foundation of America supplied every youth in our care with a Halloween goodie bag. The children loved their treats and our staff enjoyed handing out the bags to the children. We enjoyed the special touch of the adorable handmade cards provided by volunteers for the kids. The festive bags included candy, a mini sleeve of Oreo’s, spider ring, spooky handmade cards and a toothbrush–the toothbrush being very important after all those sweets!

Foster Care Halloween

It brings us such joy to bring happiness to the families and youth we care for and look forward to more opportunities to show just how much we care. If you would like to help support holiday festivities for the children we support, please donate to the Children’s Foundation of America’s Holiday Heroes campaign. Our partners at the Foundation provide many wonderful things for the kids with the help of thoughtful people like you. Donate here.

Jenelle PhillipsDirector of Development
Jenelle’s role is to identify and access resources for youth in our care. She is also responsible for maintaining a distinctive look and voice for Trinity through our online presence, media and community outreach. Before joining the Trinity team in 2016, Jenelle worked in the newspaper/magazine industry for nearly a decade as an award-winning graphic designer, photographer, writer and editor. Jenelle earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at California State University Fullerton. Jenelle is very involved in the community and is active in her church.



The following current events commentary is provided by a youth formerly in Trinity Youth Services’ Short-Term Residential Program. After graduating the program and high school, he began studying in college. This youth recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree and is now pursuing his master’s. Similar to the experience of seniors around the world, this youth had to overcome the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic after classes went virtual and illness affected the family. This youth has learned perseverance and continues to learn and adapt in our ever-changing world with empathy and compassion for others. Below is some insightful perspective and encouragement they have offered:

The outbreak of the coronavirus and unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are making this year exceptionally hard for our country. We are having to reconcile years of racial inequalities as well as the coronavirus, a vicious disease that has taken the lives of many.

Indeed, this current landscape is difficult for all of us. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hard times make better people and I believe that these dual crises can help us achieve antibodies for the coronavirus and tackle systemic racism. The golden rule is a great practice that we can all exercise in today’s times: Treating others the way you want to be treated. Do not cough without a mask unless you would want someone doing that to you or a vulnerable loved one. In the same spirit, do not sit idly by during racial injustice if you wouldn’t want the same bystander effect to happen to you had you possessed a different creed/nationality/skin color.

For those of us who struggle to see the light in all this now, consider the human timeline over history. We can take comfort in the fact that the natural progress of humanity has favored civility, equality and tolerance over time. We have come a long way but we still have a long way to go. We must accept that we fall within a human condition that requires struggle to achieve what we believe is right. Today, it will take everything we’ve got to discuss and implement anti-racist solutions and cutting-edge medical advances to mend what has been broken in 2020. Again, this will take time but I am confident that solidarity, cooperation and a common human spirit will guide us to better times. So here’s to 2020, the year of reformation! A reformation in the way we value the health of those around us as well as those in society who have been denied justice for so long.

Tiffany Haddish

Twenty-three foster youth from Trinity Youth Services attended the 27th Annual Success Is Our Future Scholarship and Awards Ceremony on May 30, 2019, at the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The annual event sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Probation recognizes foster youth who have overcome the challenges in their lives and are graduating from high school.  The special guest was actress Tiffany Haddish, who encouraged the youth to continue to pursue their dreams as she too is a former foster youth. Ms. Haddish gave each attendee a $100 gift card and a suitcase/duffle bag packed with items for their personal use.

The event was attended by fourteen youth from Trinity El Monte, six from Trinity Apple Valley and three from Trinity Yucaipa. The event recognizes and honors the achievement of youth in a variety of categories, including academics, sports, literature, the arts and overall improvement in conduct and behavior. The theme for the evening was Success is Epic and featured the awarding of six scholarships for academic achievements, first, second and third place awards for art, a dance ensemble and spoken word performances.  The entertainment was provided by magician, Joel Ward.

The foster youth were inspired and moved by the story of Tiffany Haddish. One young man said that listening to her story made him feel good that someone that was once in the system went on to be successful.  He also said that he liked the fact that the Success Is Our Future recognized youth such as him and that they awarded scholarships to youth that wanted to attend college.  Another young man felt connected with Ms. Haddish because she was a former foster youth and was motivated by her speech.

A recent Trinity graduate who is now attending college, said he enjoyed the event because “There was always something exciting happening. I liked the magician, the different types of traditional dances, the poems, and the paintings. The guest speakers talked about us becoming successful, what’s the right plan for us, and not giving up. The speakers included former foster youth who already graduated college. They told us about the different obstacles they went through and how they overcame them. They encouraged us to pursue our dreams and not give up, which was really inspirational.” Regarding his plans for the future, he said, “My goal is to focus on business management. I’m a people person and would like to become a CEO one day.”

Special thanks go out to Jaime Acosta, Assistant Director of Trinity Yucaipa, for his dedicated participation on the Success Is Our Future Planning Committee for the last several years.  It was a well-organized and much-appreciated event that acknowledged youth who have overcome a multitude of obstacles to achieve their high school diploma.

John NeiuberChief Executive Officer
John leads an agency that serves over 500 children and families daily through residential therapeutic services, mental health programs, foster care agency and adoption services. He received his master’s degrees from California State University, San Bernardino. He is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and received the Army Commendation Medal. John has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district office administrator in the public schools, and a management and leadership consultant to public agencies and private industry. He was the CEO of Advanced Education Services and became the chief operating officer of Trinity Youth Services in 2002 and CEO in 2005.

Recently two Trinity Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs (STRTP), Trinity Apple Valley and Trinity El Monte, collaborated to help find a young man a permanent home. Justin (named changed for confidentiality reasons) successfully completed his program at Apple Valley and his transition plan called for him to reconnect with family.

Due to family circumstances, he was unable to go home with his mother, so finding another family member was essential for this young man to gain permanency. According to Justin, the judge in his case did not want him to give up hope for connecting with family and Justin was tasked to identify other family members. With the help of Trinity Apple Valley, they started the process using common sense searches to look for additional family options, adoptions, and explore individuals that may fall under the non-related family member category.

Because Justin was from Los Angeles and the program wanted to connect him with a family member, he was transferred from Trinity’s Apple Valley program to the one in El Monte in September 2018. The Apple Valley program worked closely with El Monte to ensure the handoff was effective and that there was no lapse in the continuum of services provided to Justin, so the transition was successful. The treatment team at El Monte continued the work of Apple Valley by providing a multitude of mental health services, supportive services, promoting a sense of value and accountability, reinforcing positive behavior and transferring to a new high school, with the goal of reunification and permanency ultimately in mind.

The treatment teams at Apple Valley and El Monte programs engaged Justin by exploring all options for pathways to permanency. Justin identified his grandfather as an option, who was subsequently approved as a viable home. The programs collaborated with the Los Angeles County Probation Department to obtain approval for family therapy sessions and Child and Family Team (CFT) Meeting’s, first at Apple Valley and then at El Monte, via telephone with the grandfather because he lives in another state.

Justin accomplished several things while at Trinity El Monte including actively participating in mental health treatment, individual and family therapy, therapeutic behavior programs, substance abuse groups and independent living skills groups, among others and he was able to graduate high school. Most notable was the reunification with his grandfather who committed to providing a stable, permanent home for Justin post-graduation. Justin expressed his elation for the move and excitement about his life after Trinity El Monte. Justin is looking forward to attending college.

This journey to permanency is significant as it exemplified the successful collaboration between the Trinity STRTPs and the Los Angeles County Probation Department. The challenge was not only ensuring services were provided but finding a permanent home which was always the main goal from the first Children and Family Team Meeting. Justin is thankful to Trinity Apple Valley and El Monte for their assistance in his journey. Special thanks go to the Children’s Foundation of America for purchasing the plane ticket for Justin to fly “home” to be with his grandfather.

John NeiuberChief Executive Officer
John leads an agency that serves over 500 children and families daily through residential therapeutic services, mental health programs, foster care agency and adoption services. He received his master’s degrees from California State University, San Bernardino. He is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces and received the Army Commendation Medal. John has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district office administrator in the public schools, and a management and leadership consultant to public agencies and private industry. He was the CEO of Advanced Education Services and became the chief operating officer of Trinity Youth Services in 2002 and CEO in 2005.

By Ramon Gutierrez

Back in 1999, I was a resident at Trinity Yucaipa. I just wanted to say thank you. I grew up with an extremely hard life. I was a delinquent. I was always in trouble. I was prison bound. I had no family on my side; I had no one in my corner. My own mother did horrible things to me. I really had no one. I was roaming the streets; I was easily influenced by others. I was broken. I thrived on doing bad things and breaking the law. And my family had completely given up on me. My mother abandoned me. I lived with my aunt and uncle. And they gave up on me. They even told the courts that they wanted nothing to do with me. And I used that as an excuse to mess-up.

I went to juvenile hall, where I was incarcerated for five months and then I got interviewed by Trinity Yucaipa. It took a while, but with the help of the staff that really showed interest in me, it turned my whole life around. They really showed me that I could do something with my life. Whenever I would mess-up, they would show me the correct way of doing things. The teachers really showed me I can do this. And showed me I was just really being lazy.

I enjoyed going to school. I earned a letterman jacket that was one of the best feelings I ever had. While there were kids who took things for granted, I really enjoyed going to school. I maintained a job in the Trinity dining hall throughout my stay there. What I’m really trying to say is I learned skills there that really changed my life and helped me do a 180 turnaround with my life for the better. All because of the help and love and support I received at Trinity Yucaipa. Especially I want to thank Gil (Director of Residential Services), he really inspired me and helped me through a lot of tough times in my life.

However, my journey wasn’t over. I then went to another group home. I maintained a job at McDonald’s for three years and I graduated high school with a 3.75 GPA. I went to Colorado University where I graduated and received my bachelor’s degree in business management.

Now I live in Midland, TX and have a wife, a 13-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son. I am a dispatch supervisor for one of the biggest oil companies in the country. Not a day goes by that I don’t remember where I came from, and that Trinity Yucaipa was a big part of my life. Thank you for all that you guys have done for me.

Click here to learn more about Trinity’s Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs.

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