Crittenton Travel Blog: Teen Women.Smart Choices.Bright Futures

Crittenton Travel Blog: Teen Women.Smart Choices.Bright Futures

Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) recently had the pleasure to do some light traveling in the East Coast.

Our first stop was Washington, DC. where we got the chance to meet with Crittenton Services of Greater Washington, our sister agency whose mission is focused on meeting the needs of teen girls.

“What was inspiring to witness first-hand was the continued progress and evolution of a 126-year-old historical legacy rooted in the advocacy, empowerment, and residential care of young women and children in crisis, “ said Martha Jasso, Director of Communications, CSCF, “Presently, the Crittenton of Greater Washington has more of a community based and youth development approach when it comes to engaging with the teen girls of today primarily from the Washington, DC. and the Maryland areas.”

As of this year the Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy recently named our sister agency as one of the best non-profits in the DC metro area. Solidifying their reputation as a trustworthy, thoroughly vetted, and proven program for teen girls.

By teaming up with DC and Maryland public schools Crittenton Services of Greater Washington is in the unique position to work collaboratively with school officials in identifying girls who would best benefit from engaging with Crittenton.

The Crittenton of Greater Washington is committed in delivering comprehensive and science-based programs that focus on staying in school and achieving high school graduation; avoid pregnancy or that instruct teenage parents how to be responsible parents; and that encourages the idea of college and career preparation.

Among some of the most notable and well established programs our sister agency is known for include:

  • SNEAKERS – Enables teen girls who are navigating the challenges of high school to thrive.
  • PEARLS – Gives pregnant and parenting teens the support, knowledge, and skills essential to their success as individuals and as young parents.
  • 4C’ing the Future – Motivates and prepares teen girls to become the first in their families to attend college.
  • Talk with a Teen Girl Today – An annual leadership academy and conference for girls participating in Crittenton programs.

As the CEO, Pamela Jones, explained the current philosophy guiding the organization is that of focusing on the “whole girl”, her future, and her attainment of self-confidence even in the most challenging situations.

Jones and the Crittenton of Greater Washington staff make a conscious effort to not label their girls as “at risk”. On the contrary, they prefer to view every one of their youth through the lens of unlimited potential, thus, developing and implementing programming that engages their youth in just that manner – as young leaders.

A test of an organization’s success is the lasting impact it leaves in the community. For the Crittenton of Greater Washington one of their former youth, Ebony Nicholson, serves as a reminder of what both Ebony and Crittenton were able to achieve together.

Ebony was an eight grader when she first made contact with Crittenton of Greater Washington. She joined our sister agency’s SNEAKERS program as a way to look for answers and more guidance about the changes that were taking place in her life.

Today, a decade later, Ebony is using the tools of empowerment she learned at Crittenton and has since made it a mission in her life to give back to the global community.

Not only has Ebony earned a Bachelors degree in Law and Society from American University’s School of Public Affairs while serving as an Ambassador for our sister agency, but she has also served in the US Peace Corps as a Health Educator in Zambia.

Our sister agency says that the confidence Ebony gained while participating in the SNEAKERS program helped Ebony in what she is doing now, and most notably helped Ebony with her work in the Peace Corps. While in the Peace Corps she focused on projects empowering women and girls. In Zambia Ebony worked to initiate literacy among adult women, improve health care for pregnant women and their children, and empower girls to make positive choices.

“What makes the Crittenton of Southern California so proud to acknowledge is the caliber of the work being achieved by our sister agencies. Even though we are not a franchise organization, Crittenton agencies across the country stand on their own two feet, we all share a similar purpose that was set forth in 1883 and do what we can to assist the communities we serve end the cycles of poverty, violence or exploitation,” said Jasso.

Our sister agency will be celebrating 126 years of service on November 20, 2014. In the spirit of recognizing public service the Crittenton of Greater Washington will be honoring, at their anniversary celebration, a group of accomplished women who in some shape or form have dedicated their lives to public service.

Among this year’s honorees includes U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-Maryland) who will be receiving the Crittenton of Greater Washington Legacy Award for Advocacy.

For those living near the Washington DC. metro area and interested in learning more about our sister agency, taking part in the organization in some capacity, or possibly attend any of their special events feel free to visit their website for more information.

And for the rest of you reading and that have taken an interest in the Crittenton of Greater Washington becoming a donor or a social media advocate for them are always possibilities!



Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive counseling, medical, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array of residential, in-home, community based, wraparound, mental health, foster care, and adoption services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.

Visit to learn more about our programs and connect with us on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInGoogle+, and Flickr.