AK Child & Family brings hope to troubled young lives through a broad range of mental health services. Our residential psychiatric treatment, community based programs and treatment foster homes offer the structure, care and expertise to help young people facing significant challenges build strong, positive, healthy lives.

A Year of SPIRIT

Each month, staff at AK Child & Family staff nominate a colleague they believe embodies true SPIRIT:

Students – We provide therapeutically sound, cost-effective services with treatment decisions driven by the needs of students and families.

Positive – We provide a safe, nurturing environment that promotes growth for students, families and staff.

Integrity – Our daily decisions are made with honesty, compassion and concern for students, families and each other.

Respect – We recognize individual efforts and contributions to our success. We ensure students, families and staff are treated with dignity and respect.

Innovation – We provide services through creative, solution-focused problem solving. Personal growth is a lifelong process fostering innovation and creativity.

Teamwork – Communication and mutual accountability are hallmarks of our teamwork. We rely upon each other and the community to be successful.

Those who win our SPIRIT award exemplify the above words consistently in their role at our agency. We are so grateful for the care and passion our staff bring to the students & families we serve! So in honor of the brand new year, we recognize all staff who have received the SPIRIT award in 2016.

JANUARY
Scott Ragsdale

Q. What do you like best about working at AK Child & Family? Being a part of the Gould Team

Q. Who are your heroes and why? In general, people intent on promoting positive change. More specifically, I have to say Sen. Bernie Sanders for maintaining the courage to call into question very powerful segments of society that are “too big to jail.”

Q. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been? I was part of a choral group in Europe long ago and we sang a version of the Latin Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Q. What song do you have stuck in your head right now? Bruce Springsteen, “Glory Days.”

Q. Where will we find you when you’re not at work? In the summer, possibly on the river – rafting. Skiing in the winter.

FEBRUARY
Joyce Johns

Q. What do you like best about working at AK Child & Family?
A. My Team at the Oliver Unit. We work together and support one another, I love these guys! Together, we maintain a program that is recognized all over the state for outstanding care and life changing treatment. The kids benefit so much from our teamwork, watching the adults maturely and cohesively making decisions that guide them toward adulthood creates a family. Something most of our students have never experienced.

Q. Who are your heroes and why?
A. Homeless people. They have nothing and are given every disadvantage this life has to offer, yet they survive. By their mere existence I am impressed to believe I am rich, therefore I share anything I can with them. It thrills me when I am offered time with one of these brothers or sisters, and they share their story. It’s a gift.

Q. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been?
A. Whatever new place I experience that has an adventure in store for me. I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

Q. What song do you have stuck in your head right now?
A. (******’ Perfect, By PINK)

Q. Where will we find you when you’re not at work?
A. Hiking, traveling, taking photos that I like to share with the less fortunate (those who don’t live in Alaska )

MARCH
Isaac Cox

Q. What do you like best about working at AK Child & Family?
A. I love the opportunity to see lives changed every day. Working with the Maplewood girls is truly a pleasure and I love each day I get to be here.

Q. Who are your heroes and why?
A. My mama is the smartest, most caring lady I know and she is my hero.

Q. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been?
A. Bickleton Washington- A little town with no gas station, no cell service, no internet and some great people.

Q. What song do you have stuck in your head right now?
A. I’ve got a car: George Strait

Q. Where will we find you when you’re not at work?
A. In my back yard with my dog, my wife, and a fire.

APRIL
Katya Kalachevskiy

Q. What do you like best about working at AK Child & Family? I get to do lots of different things and have lots of awesome people to help me do them.

Q. Who are your heroes and why? George E. Vaillant, cause he is awesome.

Q. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been? America

Q. What song do you have stuck in your head right now? Don't stop believing by journey

Q. Where will we find you when you’re not at work? Lots of fun places.

MAY
Katy Smith

Q. What do you like best about working at AK Child & Family? – I love working as a team. I feel honored to work with everyone here, as well as the students, their families, and the other agencies that ally with us in our mission.

Q. Who are your heroes and why? – My kids. They are, without thought of reciprocation, compassionate; innocent; inquisitive; forgiving, and a constant reminder of how precious life is.

Q. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been? – Many places, but I recently had the opportunity to travel to Morocco with my family and the dramatic difference in culture and lifestyle was an incredible experience.

Q. What song do you have stuck in your head right now? – Wheels on the Bus!

Q. Where will we find you when you’re not at work? – At home, it’s the grounding center of my life.

JUNE
Kristie Nelsen

JULY
Chris Hawk

Q. What do you like best about working at AK Child & Family?

I love to see students stepping out of their comfort zones and facing their fears. As a child, I struggled with vacating my own comfort zone, so it’s cool when I can witness a student adventuring into the unknown, whether it be mentally, spiritually or physically. But that’s just one of the many things I love about this place (:

Q. Who are your heroes and why? Beyonce. Just kidding…..sort of.

I’d have to say that my parents are my top heroes. I thank God for them because they’ve poured so much into me and instilled in me the values that will carry me throughout my lifetime. My father has been a perfect example of a provider and a guide. Many people, especially African American children, don’t have the presence of a father in their lives and I will never take that for granted. My mother is the definition of a supportive nurturer. She constantly prays for me and wants nothing but success for me. My parents have sacrificed so much and I can’t express how grateful I am for that.

Q. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been?

New York City! The people and environment are nothing short of interesting. Being there was one of the best experiences of my life. Attending the musicals on Broadway is something I’ll never forget. Interesting is just one word out of many that I would use to describe NYC! I can’t wait to go back.

Q. What song do you have stuck in your head right now?

The Colour In Anything – James Blake

Q. Where will we find you when you’re not at work?

You’ll find me somewhere singing or cooking, my two loves! Or you’ll catch me at the movies…by myself. I’m very social and I love being with friends and family but every now and then, ME TIME has to take place. (:

AUGUST
Samuel Ohana

Q. What do you like best about working at AK Child & Family?

The flexibility and creativity afforded to staff and teams to deliver services to youth and families in the most effective ways.

Q. Who are your heroes and why?
People who are escaping war-torn countries, surviving refugee camps, and making it into safety with their children and the clothes on their backs- because they experience a level of trauma and fear I cannot even imagine and still find a way to keep going and not give up. People who leave abusive relationships despite the threats and the terror and save themselves and their kids from further harm and destruction because they show others that it can be done. And people who were maybe raised one way or taught one way and as they age realize that what they know is *not* all there is to the story of life, and break free to explore other, possibly better, ways to think and live- because it's often so hard to know what you don't know and to open your mind to other ways of being.

Q. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been?

Inside an abandoned school from the late 70's (this was back in the early 90's). Being able to see time frozen in the lessons on the chalkboards and the books and papers scattered around and in contrast with the evidence the time had indeed continued on with plants growing inside and dust and animals living there, broken windows, etc.

Q. What song do you have stuck in your head right now?

Bagpipes, Scottish music.

Q. Where will we find you when you’re not at work? Probably asleep.

SEPTEMBER
Katherine Jones

Q. What do you like best about working at AK Child & Family?
I enjoy being a part of and seeing the growth each individual in our care makes. I also enjoy doing fun activities such as hiking, art projects, etc. with each of the youth.
Q. Who are your heroes and why? My dogs are my heroes because they are always so happy and always know how to make me smile.
Q. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been? Mexico, it was unique seeing the cultural differences compared to Alaska.
Q. What song do you have stuck in your head right now? Let it be by The Beatles
Q. Where will we find you when you’re not at work? Most likely at home spending time with my dogs or doing homework.

OCTOBER
Marti Starks-Williams

Q. What do you like best about working at AK Child & Family?
The “call backs” from former students and telling us how well they are doing and how much we have helped them to be successful.

Q. Who are your heroes and why?
My son. He is autistic and has faced many challenges but has overcome them with such humor and determination, that he humbles me.

Q. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been?
I lived in Germany for 6 years and have visited many countries. The most interesting place I had visit was the East Berlin wall and East Berlin. I was able to see history before it was torn down.

Q. What song do you have stuck in your head right now?
“What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye. This song is just as relevant today as it was in the 70’s.

Q. Where will we find you when you’re not at work? Home. Making container gardens for the herbs inside my kitchen.

NOVEMBER
Richard Lee

DECEMBER
Tonya Leach

DONATE

Donate online, or mail or phone your gift to: 

AK Child & Family
4600 Abbott Road
Anchorage, AK  99
507
(907) 346-2101

 


 

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