Lori Martinez

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

Health Care Agency
Behavioral Health Services
Prevention and Intervention
Stop the Cycle Program

Lori Martinez

Pictured from left to right, Adult Mental Health Services Division Manager
Annette Mugurditchian, Stop the Cycle Volunteer Lori Martinez, Drug &
DUI Courts Service Chief Raquel Tellez & HCA Director Mark Refowitz.

ACTION:  What does the volunteer do?

Lori Martinez, a Marriage & Family Therapy student at Chapman University’s Graduate School of Psychology, has volunteered with the Stop the Cycle program since October 25, 2010, and since that time, she has contributed more than 700 hours of service.

Stop the Cycle (STC) is a prevention program for siblings and parents of youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The program seeks to stop the next generation of youth from entering the juvenile justice system.  STC provides a 12-week series of individual groups conducted with the parents and children who are not yet involved with the juvenile justice system. STC gives parents the tools and support they need to effectively parent children who have siblings in the juvenile justice system and are at risk of repeating the same behaviors.

As a STC volunteer, Lori co-facilitates psycho-educational group sessions for teens or children. In addition, she assists with in-home and phone assessments for potential participants, attends weekly meetings to discuss the families with other team members and researches information pertaining to families involved in the juvenile justice system.  Lori offers Spanish translation for families, which ensures their full participation in the program, and her bilingual skills enhance the team’s effectiveness in working with an underserved population.  She also manages to find time to help with filing of records and paperwork, updating/organizing chart notes and documents, and other projects requested by her supervisor or team leads.

NEED:  What community or agency need does the volunteer address?

STC is part of the Health Care Agency’s Prevention and Intervention Division, which was implemented in March 2009 as a result of the Mental Health Services Act funding.  Lori applied for and became STC’s first volunteer to pursue a year-long internship. She continued with the program far beyond her initial commitment, and for more than two years, she has generously dedicated her time, talents and energy to assist staff in their efforts to build an ongoing system of care for families involved in the juvenile justice system.

IMPACT:  What is different as a result of the volunteer's service?

Lori brings enthusiasm, dedication and competence to her volunteer work with the STC program. She provides a high-risk population with essential services and resources, actively participates in staff meetings, and consistently supports the STC team.  While working with parents and their children, Lori is insightful and demonstrates good judgment.  She assists staff in achieving STC program goals of enhancing protective factors for children, improving parenting skills for parents, and building an ongoing system of support for families.  She has proven her ability to work independently and with minimal supervision.  While interacting with staff, she readily shares her perspective and is open to feedback. 

INSPIRATION:  What makes the volunteer unique/special?

Lori demonstrates maturity, thoughtfulness and integrity in all of her work with the STC program. She connects with her participants during group sessions while always maintaining a high level of professionalism.  She offers suggestions for improving program activities and is a respected member of the STC team.  She can be counted on to volunteer extra hours during her school breaks to assist with assessments and special projects.

Lori’s efforts in reaching out to Orange County families with children in the juvenile justice system are truly inspirational, and her contributions are greatly appreciated and worthy of our highest recognition.

Thank you and congratulations to Lori Martinez, recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!