Employee of the Month



May 2021

JCO II Cindy Valladolid

Congratulations to the Juvenile Hall Employee of the Month JCO II Cindy Valladolid. Officer Valladolid is assigned to the Pathways Academy and her nominator had this to say:

“I would like to recommend Cindy Valladolid for employee of the month. She regularly goes above and beyond to assist with covering shifts due to staff shortages and always has a positive attitude. Valladolid has also volunteered her time to assist with repainting Pathways in an effort to provide a more home-like environment for the youth. Valladolid takes the initiative to help train staff new to the unit and took the time to debrief a new staff following their first experience with an assaultive youth. She assists with structured programming which helps facilitate buy-in and participation from the youth. Recently, Valladolid was assigned to assist a youth with an array of mental health needs and past trauma. Not only did she hold the youth accountable in a firm, fair, and consistent manner, she also provided her opportunities to succeed and improve her behavior by setting short term goals and providing guidance and incentives to the youth. This is an important aspect of promoting change and pro-social behavior in the youth we work with. When dealing with all youth, Valladolid is firm, fair, and consistent in her approach. She takes the time to remind the youth of the expectations for their behavior each shift. When critical incidents occur, Valladolid responds and acts quickly without hesitation. She has repeatedly assisted staff during these incidents and has demonstrated she possesses excellent quality of judgement and safety practices.”


Thank you Cindy for all your hard work and dedication to the youth and staff in Juvenile Hall.




April 2021

JCO II Jah Hackett

Congratulations to Jah Hackett JCO II on being named the Juvenile Hall Employee of the Month for April. Officer Hackett is assigned to the 300B unit. The nominator had this to say:

Officer Hackett goes out of his way to encourage the youth in 300B to take pride in themselves and the unit that they live in. There isn’t a moment during the morning shifts where the youth are in their rooms for a long period of time. With 300B having a 6am PE time, the winter elements sometimes hindered the activities available. When they were unable to conduct PE outside Officer Hackett would take the youth back to the slab for additional free time weather and time permitting. I have seen him teaching the young men how to shave, general hygiene and room care to help make their adjustment to a little easier. The small things he does, create a big impact on the youth he supervises.


Thank you Officer Hackett for your efforts to provide a positive and rehabilitative environment for the youth in your unit. Keep up the great work.




March 2021

JCO I Krystal Barboza

Congratulations to Krystal Barboza JCO I on being named the Juvenile Hall Employee of the Month for March. Officer Barboza was nominated for the below:

During a medical emergency involving a youth she remained calm and professional and not only assisted the medical staff with keeping track of important medical information but assisted other staff to remain calm. Her actions that day helped to provide calm in a stressful situation. She has also been recognized for dealing with the youth in a positive manner. She holds them accountable and also tries to help them to make better decisions when they are struggling with regulations. When presented with a youth who is disrespectful to her she keeps calm and uses de-escalation training she has acquired to redirect their behavior or removes herself from the situation to allow for de-escalation to occur.

Officer Barboza has also participated in the Re-Entry, ADA and Programming units career presentations. She discussed her prior employment as an EMT with all youth in the facility during structured programming. Youth were engaged and asked numerous questions of her and her fellow presenter. She assisted in providing insight to the youth of the requirement to become and EMT and discussed daily functions of the job. She has embraced the dual roles that officers have of holding youth accountable and the responsibility to provide opportunity and rehabilitative support to in custody youth as well.


Thank you Officer Barboza for all your hard work and keep up the great work.




February 2021

JCO II Myles Scott

Congratulations to Myles Scott JCO II. Scott is assigned to Juvenile Halls RAP unit and his nominator had this to say:

“I would like to nominate Scott for employee of the month. Scott has transitioned well into the RAP unit. On numerous occasions, he has spent lengthy amounts of time counseling youth at program. He counseled a female youth in 300A who was emotional after getting bad news during her phone call. He has counseled youth who were having emotional and mental breakdowns, and has de-escalated youth who were upset and angry at program. I have witnessed him run the AP shift in the 200’s and he kept the youth engaged and was fair, firm, and consistent with the youth. He has utilized time outs when youth did not want to participate in the AP activity, but was able to counsel them to get them to engage. Scott also goes above and beyond to assist unit staff with showers after critical incidents and offers to work additional shifts in order to help meet operational needs. Recently, a youth in 300B became upset and attempted to lunge at another youth in the AP room. Scott remained calm in his demeanor even when the youth pushed him. He was able to maintain control of the youth and counseled the youth even after responding officers came on scene. Due to his calm demeanor and continued commitment to counseling and de-escalating the youth, the youth eventually calmed down.“


Thank you for your hard work and commitment to providing both accountability and opportunity to the youth in our care.




January 2021

Renee Valenzuela JCO Cook

Congratulations to Renee Valenzuela JCO Cook. Mrs. Valenzuela was nominated for her outstanding efforts in the kitchen.

“I am recommending kitchen staff Renee Valenzuela for employee of the month. When the kitchen lost 4 of its staff due to COVID-19 quarantines, Ms. Valenzuela along with the help of XRDS kitchen staff stepped up and took control. Ms. Valenzuela worked 14 days straight with a lot of those days being 12-14 hour days. When checking to see how things were going, facility staff reported stated “just fine because Valenzuela is killing it.” Upon staff returning from quarantine it was reported Ms. Valenzuela had everything under control and did an amazing job. The job interest and application of effort from Ms. Valenzuela was something to be proud of.“

Congratulations again Mrs. Valenzuela. Your effort and dedication to providing meals to the youth and staff of Juvenile Hall during such a trying time has not gone unnoticed and you are very deserving of the Employee of the Month award.




December 2020

JCO III Maria Davis

This month's Juvenile Hall employee of the month is Maria Davis JCO III.

Mrs. Davis was nominated due to her ongoing efforts to affect change in the youth she supervises and for promoting the administration of programming to the youth. The nominator noted:

The Pathways youth recently completed the first human trafficking class, Ending the Game, provided by Probation and it was a huge success due in large part to Mrs. Davis. She was always willing to transport the youth to JPU, she was quick to respond to any questions, and you can tell she really cares about the youth in her unit. During the class she reached out to assist the youth with some basic needs they had for when they are released. Which was able to be fulfilled. This was huge because it showed her understanding that this sensitive group has a propensity to return to their traffickers when they have a need for basic necessities and by securing these items it provided one less barrier to them breaking away. Mrs. Davis is professional and organized. My staff and I enjoyed working with her.

Thank you Mrs. Davis for continuing to support the rehabilitative services and programming for our youth. Your efforts have a positive influence on the youth and staff you work with.




November 2020

JCO II James Pounds

The Juvenile Hall Employee of the Month for November is James Pounds JCO II.

Officer Pounds' nominator had this to say:

I would like to nominate James Pounds 200B for really embracing the challenges of our culture changes in our institution and this includes the 200-wing. He recommended, helped purchase new exercise equipment and provided a new exercise routine for the youth of the institution. In addition, he guided 200B youth in the creation of two pumpkins that were submitted and took 1st and 3rd place finishes in our annual pumpkin contest. Pounds is also assisting our painting team in the 200’s by creating a more home-like environment in the 200-wing. He is teaching youth in the unit to paint the rooms which provides them with a life skill they can potentially utilize upon their release.

Officer Pounds has also been instrumental in the transition to virtual learning in the wing. He worked with school officials to troubleshoot the use of the Zoom platform for delivery of educational services.

Congratulations Officer Pounds on being named the employee of the month for Juvenile Hall and thank you for all your efforts to create an environment where the youth in our care have an opportunity to learn and experience the positive outcomes of their efforts.




September 2020

JCO II Sophia Rivas

This month's Employee of the Month award goes to JCO II Sophia Rivas

Her coworkers had the following to say:

"While not officially assigned to Juvenile Hall she has been putting in work since she arrived. She has responded to multiple incidents, continuously assists in the units with showers and other activities. She never complains and is always willing to help out.

She has been incredibly helpful with meds, in all units and in responding to incidents. She never complains and know where she is needed before anyone even tells her. Sophia does a great job working with and calming down the youth as well. Lastly, she volunteers to stay over to take late afternoon med runs even though her shift is ending."

Sophia, thank you for your dedication to Juvenile Hall, your co-workers and the youth housed in the facility. Your efforts to go above and beyond have helped staff throughout the facility and are very much appreciated. Thank you and keep up the great work.




August 2020

JCO II Jennifer Mercado

This month's Employee of the Month award goes to JCO II Jennifer Mercado

Her coworkers had the following to say:

“I would like to nominate J. Mercado JCO II for employee of the month.

Officer Mercado is currently assigned to the Pathways Academy. She is in charge of purchasing personal blankets for the youth and core training (Case Plans-Noble).

Mercado demonstrates her professionalism by being respectful towards youth and staff. During stressful situations, Mercado remains calm and professional. Her sense of humor and calm demeanor makes it easy to de-escalate potentially volatile situations. She has a good rapport with youth and staff. Mercado holds youth accountable for their actions while helping them transition to become respectful citizens. Mercado is a team player and goes above and beyond the call of duty by helping train new staff and taking the initiative to complete unassigned duties.

The rapport Mercado has with the youth and how she engages with them is commendable. Not only does she set clear expectations at the beginning of each shift and hold youth accountable in a consistent and fair manner, she also takes the time to engage with the youth in positive activities which builds rapport and compliance. Mercado always comes up with projects to decorate the unit each month and engage the youth in creating decorations and putting them up. This gives the youth a sense of accountability and ownership in the program. Furthermore, she came up with the idea of having an Easter egg hunt for the youth. Mercado and other staff filled the eggs with small incentives for the youth. Her willingness to go above and beyond to provide fun activities for the youth is greatly appreciated."

Thank you Officer Mercado for your commitment to the youth in the Pathways Academy and for your creativity in organizing projects and activities for the youth to engage in.




July 2020

Yesenia Leon

Congratulations to JCO I Yesenia Leon, the JH Employee of the Month for July!

Her co-worker wrote:

“I would like to nominate Yesenia Leon. She always has a positive attitude and is described by her co-workers and wing supervisors as a “team player.” I want to specifically commend her on her growth and development in dealing with critical incidents within the institution. In April she was involved in a critical incident with a Pathways youth who assaulted her Wing Supervisor. During the incident, she took immediate action by assisting her Wing Supervisor in taking the youth to the ground. Although the youth was strong and resistive, she stayed committed and engaged until responding officers arrived to assist. Seeing a fellow officer being assaulted can be traumatic and emotional, but she was able to take control of her emotions and acted without hesitation. In June she responded to a peer assault and mutual peer fight on the same day. Leon acted quickly to stop two youth from fighting by using a takedown maneuver and when another youth swung at her, she was able to defend herself in the midst of the takedown maneuver and worked with other staff to gain control of the situation. Leon’s ability to act quickly and decisively and in cooperation with other staff during multiple critical incidents has shown her ability to effectively communicate with other staff during high stress situations and her ability to perform under high stress situations.”

Congratulations Yesenia on being named the employee of the month for July. Along with a certificate acknowledging this you will have use of the employee of the month parking space for July. Thank you for all your hard work.




June 2020

Karoll Millan

Congratulations to Karoll Millan, the JH Employee of the Month for June!

Her co-worker wrote:

"Ms. Millan has adjusted incredibly well to the 200’s. She has helped setting up Zoom calls with Officer Pounds, she has built up a professional rapport with the youth in the 200’s, and she made herself available to work extra shifts in the 200’s, 300’s (1 on 1) special assignment, and shifts at Control. Her hard work, work ethic, and dedication to the job is incredibly impressive.“

Thank you Ms. Millan for all your hard work and dedication.




May 2020

Kristen Fuentez

Congratulations to Kristen Fuentez, the JH Employee of the Month for May!

Her co-worker wrote:

"Officer Fuentez has shown the attributes and characteristics of the dual role officer that incorporates accountability and opportunity. There have been high stress/low frequency situations that have arisen and she was able to respond without hesitation and assist in securing the youth. Due to her immediate actions, she assisted in preventing further harm to the youth and potential harm that could have occurred to staff. Additionally, she has been eager and excited about providing structured program to the youth. She provides RAP team members with ideas and when there is not a RAP team member available to conduct structured programming she either takes the initiative to come up with an activity or facilitates the program set up by the RAP team. Hear ability to consistently provide accountability and opportunity to the youth whom she serves provides them with the tools and skills to be successful upon re-entry to the community. She also provides a model of the mission, vision and philosophy of not just the division but the department as a whole."

Thank you Kristen for all your hard work and dedication to the youth and staff at Juvenile Hall.




April 2020

JCO II Nancy Perez

Congratulations to JCO II Nancy Perez, the JH Employee of the Month for April!

Her co-worker wrote:

"I would like to nominate Nancy Perez. She always goes above and beyond for the Pathways program. She brought up the idea of starting up a running team for Pathways and has been training the youth daily, including coming up with a training program. She is professional and a team player, helping out whenever and where-ever needed. She displays the characteristics of a leader and ensures an equal balance between holding the Pathways youth accountable through re-direction, counseling, and utilizing progressive discipline, with also promoting opportunity for growth and development by offering positive reinforcement through praise and incentives. She takes the time to meet with her youth weekly, get to know them and their goals, and gives them assignments and homework to help them work on their criminogenic needs. She is firm, fair, and consistent in her approach with the youth and is a true asset to our department."

Congratulations Nancy and thank you for all your hard work.




March 2020

JCO II Wendy McCune

Congratulations to JCO II Wendy McCune, the JH Employee of the Month for March!

Her co-workers noted the following:

"McCune has worked tirelessly to start the Library as soon as possible and been able to manage keeping up with the Library duties while also filling in the units as needed. She has shown a desire to provide an incentive for the youth who are doing well. While in the Library as she talks about various books with the youth and attempts to gain rapport with them. She is constantly coming up with new ideas to make the library better for the youth and even though the work is tedious, she does it without complaint. Many youth have commented about the library and have shown excitement about it. This could not have been accomplished without her hard work and effort."

Thank you for all your efforts Mrs. McCune!




February 2020

Sara Lopez

Congratulations to Sara Lopez, the JH Employee of the Month for February!

Her co-workers noted the following:

"I would like to nominate Sara Lopez for employee of the month. Last week a youth was brought in very angry and pregnant. The youth refused to get out of the Probation vehicle. Sara talked to her and calmed her down as well as helped transport her into JH safely. Her calm demeanor and ability to use humor when appropriate has helped de-escalate several situations, preventing incidents. Additionally, due to staff shortages she is always willing to work extra shifts when asked."

Sara thank you for all your hard work and enjoy to parking spot for the month of February.




January 2020

Jairo Bautista

Congratulations to Jairo Bautista, the JH Employee of the Month for January!

His co-workers noted the following:

"I wanted to nominate Mr. Bautista for Employee of the Month. He is one of our extra help who I have seen devotedly work extra around here. He is eager to learn and has grown tremendously since his start date. He picks up extra shifts and is willing to assist when needed. In just the short time he’s been here, he has been selected to be trained as Security Transport. This assignment has helped him grow as an employee and it is noticeable through his work ethic within the units.

I look forward to seeing him work within our department and see where his career takes him. He definitely has characteristics of a future leader.”

Congratulations Jairo on your recognition as the Juvenile Hall employee of the month. Thank you for all your hard work.




December 2019

JCO-EH Hannah Saldias

Congratulations to JCO-EH Hannah Saldias, the JH Employee of the Month for December!

Her co-workers noted the following:
"Saldias always comes to work with a good attitude. She has been trained to work Laundry, Central School, JTC School and the units, and takes on the task of learning each new assignment quickly. She can be counted on to stay over, take last minute shifts and assist with unit paperwork without complaint. She has responded to numerous incidents, intervening and securing youth involved in physical altercations when needed. She also provides counseling and re-direction to youth as well. She has shown great interest in her assignment at Juvenile Hall."

Thank you for all of your efforts Ms. Saldias!



November 2019

JCO II Olga Hinojosa

Congrats to JCO II Olga Hinojosa, Juvenile Hall’s “Employee of the Month” for November!

Her co-workers wrote:
“I nominate Olga Hinojosa, JCO II. She is an asset to FTR and also to JH. Not only does she help out in any unit and assignment she is needed in, she does so without complaining. She helps out with the boys in FTR by counseling them and giving them positive input regarding their time here and also when released back home. She recently had to act in a timely manner and help another staff with an emergency situation and did so with grace and professionalism. Her fellow co-workers were very happy she was here to assist in this incident and that she was quick and responsive.

She has been sharing tons of ideas for Incentive program and even has gotten other staff on board with competitions to show the boys that a little competition is fun when there is positive outcome from it!”

Olga, your efforts are very much appreciated! Thank you!



October 2019

DPO II Bobby Sherrill

Congrats to DPO II Bobby Sherrill, Juvenile Hall’s “Employee of the Month” for October!

His co-workers wrote:
"Bobby interacts with every youth in the institution and genuinely cares about their rehabilitation. From conducting groups to playing basketball, he truly embodies the philosophy of not only the division, but the department as a whole. He also makes himself available for extra shifts when needed and has been a valuable asset to the division."

“Not only does Bobby do so much for the structured programming, he goes above and beyond to help out when we are short on staff, working tons of extra shifts and helping out in any way he can! He never complains and is always eager to help out!”your efforts Pounds, it is much appreciated!"

Great job Bobby! Thank you for all of your efforts.



August 2019

JCO II James Pounds

Congrats to JCO II James Pounds for being recognized as JH employee of the Month for August !

His co-workers wrote:
“Officer Pounds is providing an environment in the 200’s in which he is engaging with youth during program/structured programming. He is engaging youth with new activities during P.E. like disc golf, and simply being an overall good role model for the youth he supervises and other staff. In addition, he is very cognizant of officer safety, being a good cover officer when needed, and being available to work extra shifts.”

Youth have also spoken highly of Officer Pounds’ “Drivers Ed” class.

Thanks for your efforts Pounds, it is much appreciated!



July 2019

JCO Keisha Blair
 
Her co-workers wrote:
"She is a great staff to work with. Always comes into work ready to work and ready to adapt to any situation that occurs. She knows how to counsel and listen to youth in crisis situations; yet can present herself as an authoritative figure when necessary. Always eager to learn from others and teach recently hired staff."

"Mrs. Blair is an excellent staff who redirects youth while holding them accountable, and enabling such youth to work toward bettering themselves after they have been corrected through positive reinforcement, in accordance with the Behavior Management System (BMS). She was recently able to redirect a disgruntled youth who was involved in peer friction with another youth. She deescalated a possibly violent situation. She is always asking questions from seasoned staff to better the performance of her duties. Furthermore, she is always polite and hardworking, which makes her a joy to work with."

"Blair is a really strong staff. In the Pathways unit she holds the youth accountable. The youth In Pathways know her expectations when she works the unit. She has good communication with fellow staff and takes initiative in duties that will support the flow of the program."



June 2019

JCO III Edward Nesheiwat
 
His co-workers wrote:
“Nesh is a high-caliber staff. He doesn’t budge on his work ethic despite any challenge, law or policy changes. He is our gang expert. He is a department trainer, files PR’s when needed, covers the desk, works on his days off and takes extra shifts all the time to alleviate scheduling binds. He makes the 200-Wing stronger as he communicates with the youth and holds them accountable. He is a role model for all staff. He makes all appropriate moves, keeping youth under control and at the same time motivating them, offering a chance for change. Mr. Nesh (with all his talents, experience and knowledge) makes this whole institution safer and stronger. He shares his knowledge with anyone in the institution and/or department, and speaks his mind for the better interest of the department. In the past he has been recognized for several accomplishments and totally deserves those and more. I believe Mr. Nesh sets the bar high for all staff.”



May 2019

JCO II Miguel Flores
 
His co-workers wrote:
“I would like to nominate Miguel Flores. He works very well with the youth in 300B, is very good at de-escalating situations as needed, creative in giving them structured activities, and great at counseling them. He has been able to build rapport with the youth which allows him to de-escalate upset youth.”

“He has done a great job in 300B when de-escalating situations and providing additional counseling when necessary.”



April 2019

JCO II Nancy Perez
 
Her co-workers wrote:
"Nancy Perez has been extremely helpful with the Pawsitive Change program coming to Pathways. She has come up with alternative ways to make the shift work so that we are not falling behind on our daily routine in order to take care of the dogs. She has stepped up and wanted to help out in any way she can and is always ready to put her best foot forward to show positivity when dealing with the youth. She is respectful and caring when dealing with problematic youth.  She is a pleasure to work with."



March 2019

JCO II Nic Campos
 
His co-workers wrote:
 
"Campos is one of the hardest working JCO’s I have had the pleasure to work with.  He will go on med runs without complaint, work extra shifts whenever asked and work where ever placed in the Institution with a smile.  Nic Campos mentors and counsels youth while holding them accountable for their behavior, using his training and experience to handle any incident which may arise.
I have heard several of his co-workers comment on how easy it is to work with him, they always know he has their back."



February 2019

JCO III Michele Borcky
 
Her co-workers wrote:
 
"She is an amazing staff with a positive attitude.  She works numerous extra shifts even at the last minute and doesn’t complain.  She has complete control of Pathways programming and does numerous extra jobs for administration.   She is the go to person for anything occurring in Pathways.  She has great rapport with the youth.  She holds them accountable when they are having issues but she also talks to them when they need a counselor.  There are no surprises for how she is going to handle the youth because there are no favorites, she handles every girl the same."



January 2019

JCO II Myda Camacho
 
Her co-workers wrote:
 
"Ms. Camacho has become a huge factor in the 200-wing. Youth and staff respect her. She is always on time ready to put in the work necessary. In my whole career of a little over 20 years, I have never worked with such a strong staff. She is always cleaning and makes sure her work area is on point. When it comes to supervision of youth, she is always watching every movement. Even though it can be challenging, she is always out with the group and holds youth accountable. She addresses problems when they are small preventing further problems. Overall, Ms. Camacho is a well-rounded person and is a pleasure to work with. When she is on duty, most supervisors can be at ease as we know she will take care of any issues. Ms. Camacho, we thank you for all your hard work and want you to know all your efforts are greatly appreciated."



December 2018

Jose Pulido
 
His co-workers wrote:
"Pulido helps keep this place, the other institutions and some other areas of the Department stocked with supplies and ready to roll. He is audited quarterly and always comes out shining. In fact, after a recent audit by the County, the auditor recommended another department come over and see how Pulido and his team handle business. He is efficient in his job, helpful and always looking for the best deals. He takes care of a lot of fiscal paperwork and errors are rare. On top of that, he comes to work with a great attitude and desire to help others."



November 2018

DPO III Julia Villagran
 
Her co-workers wrote:
 
“I am thankful for Julia Villagran. She does an outstanding job as School Coordinator. She is not only appreciated by JH management she is very appreciated by school staff. They respect her and know she will make good decisions. Villagran has to be that middle man between what Probation wants and what the school wants and she does a great job. I know when Villagran is gone the school staff is wanting to know when she will return because she is missed. I appreciate that she works hard to keep the youth, school staff and Probation staff safe.”
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