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Sycamores Foster Youth Face Off Against Altadena Sheriffs in “Really Fun” Basketball Game

Friendly basketball game is an opportunity to build positive relationships

Published on Wednesday, August 31, 2022 | 2:25 pm
Captain Jabari Williams of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Sycamores’ Gina Peck-Sobolewski

After a two-year hiatus, Sycamores, a behavioral health organization with 11 locations throughout Southern California, welcomed back officers from the Altadena Sheriff’s Station for a spirited game of basketball with the foster youth at the organization’s El Nido residential campus.

The event, generously hosted by the Las Candelas support group, was an opportunity to build positive relationships between the law enforcement officers and the youth at Sycamores’ Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program.

According to Captain Jabari Williams of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, “As law enforcement officers, we want to be somebody that young people can look up to. And what better way to do that than coming out here, interacting with them, and just having a good time.”

Sycamores’ Gina Peck-Sobolewski believes that our collaborative partnership with the Sheriffs does help shape the boys’ view of law enforcement in a positive light. In fact, after the game one of the boys shared, “I don’t usually hang around cops like that, but this was different. I really had fun.”

Sycamores’ Andi Sica, Las Candelas members Jeri Clark, Lynn Neave, Pauline Beebe, Sycamores’ Gina Peck-Sobolewski and Las Candelas member Nancy Stone

In addition to the competitive game refereed by Pick-Up USA, those in attendance enjoyed a taco dinner, courtesy of Las Candelas, and ice cream from Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream of Pasadena. While the deputies came out ahead on the court this year, Sycamores is looking forward to a rematch next year!

Located in Altadena, Sycamores’ El Nido residential campus offers an idyllic and welcoming environment for boys needing intervention and care. Referred to as our Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Program (STRTP), it is designed to provide care and supervision to dependent and/or neglected males, ages 11-18, many of whom are a part of the foster care or probation systems. The goals of the program are to stabilize mental health symptoms and to engage the youth and their family by providing the tools necessary to return home and live successfully as a family and within their community.

About Sycamores

Sycamores is a leading behavioral health and child welfare agency with 11 locations throughout Southern California. For 120 years, Sycamores has been investing in people. We provide innovative and effective programs and services for children, young adults, adults and families facing serious life challenges. Our programs serve communities across Los Angeles, spanning the San Fernando, San Gabriel, and Antelope Valleys, as well as in Riverside County. Our highly effective behavioral health services impact approximately 17,000 lives annually. Services include residential treatment; foster care and adoption; transitional living assistance for young adults currently or at risk of experiencing homelessness; outpatient and school-based mental health services; wraparound/in-home services; psychiatric services; psychological testing; and educational support services. Sycamores is licensed by the Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services, certified by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, LAHSA funded and accredited through The Joint Commission. To learn more, visit

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