Counselor asks businesses to sponsor troubled teens
State budget cutbacks forced Raynee Gloden out of her job as a therapist at Colorado West Regional Mental Health.
She was told her last day was to be Sept. 30, and that the Juvenile Justice Program she worked with was to have its funding cut completely.
Gloden decided to open her own practice and focus on the type of teenagers she worked with at the Division of Youth Corrections. She has operated 2nd Chances Therapeutic Services from a suite at 2350 G Road since Oct. 1.
“I wanted to work with teens, and not only that, but teens who don’t do well with authority,” she said.
Gloden will begin group therapy in November, bringing eight to 10 kids together once a week for three months for peer group and teamwork discussions and for figuring out how to live productive lives free of crime and drugs. At least one parent of each child will attend a separate parents group, and all of the clients will participate in monthly family nights.
To make the group a reality, though, Gloden is reaching out to businesses to sponsor the children. A $360 donation will pay for one teen to attend therapy. In return, a business will receive updates on the teen, and the business can request that the teen perform services such as handing out fliers or picking up trash.
Each teen will perform 72 hours of community service in order to attend therapy sessions for free.
“The parents have had to pay fines and court fees, and the teens don’t often come from affluent families,” Gloden said, adding that she would rather have the teens give something back to the community than ask the families to incur another cost by paying her.
Dentist John Wood and Redlands Dental Arts have agreed to sponsor children. Little Caesar’s Pizza has agreed to donate eight pizzas for each family night.
Gloden said businesses should expect to receive thank-yous from her and the teens long after they cut a check.
“I’m not going to forget about the businesses. They’re investing in my kiddos,” she said.