Parent U

Parent U offers free workshops for parents of middle and high school age students filled with inspiration, learning, and resource building geared for parents who want to intentionally raise their children for success. Workshops are designed to empower parents of middle and high school age students with information, skills and resources.

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Parent U is a collaborative effort in the community to provide workshops designed to empower parents of middle and high school age students with information, skills and resources.

Topics & Speakers from our Last Event

I.N.V.E.S.T in Your Child’s Future

About the speaker:

Rick Pierce, Keynote Speaker
Having raised two foster daughters from ages 8 and 10, Rick Pierce understands how the day-to-day struggles of parenting and busyness of our lives can distract us from the ultimate goal of raising the next generation of adults toward a fulfilling future. Rick’s varied background as 6th grade teacher, Middle and High school youth worker, business owner, speaker, author and most importantly grandparent to five lovelies gives him both experience and perspective. Today’s keynote will encourage you to I.N.V.E.S.T. in your children’s future on a regular basis.

Technology | DOUBLE EDGED

Learn to safeguard your child’s use of technology. Topics include online bullying, sexting, social media (i.e. Facebook, Google+, SnapChat, etc.) parental controls, and video games. By Detective Zack LaFerriere, GVPD

About the speaker(s):

Detective Zack LaFerriere | Grass Valley Police Department
Zack is an informative youth-focused Police Officer with the Grass Valley Police Department who has a passion for positively impacting the children of Nevada County. He is also the Director of the GREAT Summer Youth Academy, Organizational Excellence Committee member and is dedicated to empowering parents with youth trends, information and local resources. His years of experience investigating online crimes coupled with his experience as a former School Resource Officer makes him a valuable speaker for Technology Workshop.

Awareness | RESILIENCE

Be empowered with conversation starters as well as knowledge on substances commonly abused, youth trends youth, and learn tools to maintain an interactive conversation about difficult subjects. By Ginny Cutler, CPCC/LMFT & Rebecca Slade, LMFT

About the speaker(s):

Ginny Cutler, CPCC/LMFT | Integrated Mental Health Services Director
Ginny joined Granite Wellness Centers in 2012 after relocating here from the San Francisco Bay Area, following a 25-year career in the Mental Health and Substance Use fields with Santa Clara County and other nonprofit agencies. She has extensive experience in mental health best practices and outcomes, individualized recovery-based services, person/ family-centered community-based services, and innovative program development. Her expertise includes program development and implementation for Co-occurring Disorders and Organizational Cultural Competence. In addition to being a licensed therapist, she is also a certified professional coach and a certified raw nutrition educator.

Rebecca Slade, LMFT | Nevada County Children’s Mental Health
Rebecca has a Masters Degree in Counseling and is a licensed Marriage Family therapist serving as Nevada County’s Behavioral Health Children’s Program Manager since April 2007. She has overseen a fourfold increase in mental health services to children in the last four years. This has included a home-based service for our most needy youth and their families, increased services for Probation and Child Welfare children and school-based prevention programs. She was responsible for the outreach to the community on the use of prevention funds and the creation and oversight of some of these prevention programs.


Prepare to be inspired! This workshop will take a real look at today’s culture and explore the role all parents can achieve. Get ready to take your relationship with your child to a new level! By Barry Friedman

About the speaker(s):

Barry Friedman | From Boys to Men
Barry Friedman is a 4-time World Juggling Champion, Co-Leader of Boys to Men Rite of Passage Adventure Weekends, husband and father. Barry has led open communication circles for boys in schools and workshops since 2008 where he has heard firsthand reports of why they succeed or struggle. On a whim that has lasted to this day, Barry went off all processed and refined sugar when, in February of 2012, his then 10-year old son asked him what he was going to leap for Leap Day.

Academic | NAVIGATE

For parents navigating the middle school years with their children. Learn useful tips, tricks, and tools to guide your child through challenging times. Topics include: time management, peer pressure, and a strong sense of character identity. By Thomas Bivens, Principal

About the speaker(s):

Thomas Bivens | Ready Springs School
Thomas taught middle school for ten years. He has been Principal/Site Administrator for both Ready Springs School and Vantage Point Charter School for the last eight years where he is admired and respected by students, parents, and staff. In addition, he coached boys and girls middle school sports and has chaperoned untold amounts of afterschool activities.


Tools to help your high school student prepare for college/workforce. How to help write a great resume, prep for interviews, internships, and more. By Nicola Murphy, One-Stop Business & Career Center, Rose Murphy, NJUHSD & Stephanie Ortiz, Sierra College

About the speaker(s):

Nicola Murphy | One-Stop Business & Career Center
Nicola is a Career Development Consultant at the One-Stop Business Career Center. She is dedicated to assisting youth find direction and meaning in their career paths and personal lives, mentoring and assisting them to successfully meet goals.

Stephanie Ortiz |Dean of Sierra College Nevada County Campus
Stephanie has been the Executive Dean of Sierra College’s Nevada County Campus since July 1, 2009. She has worked for the college for 23 years, and was the Dean of the Business and Technology Instructional Division. She has been in education for over 30 years at the community college and university levels. She has provided management training and consulting services for private and public sector organizations in central California and the greater Sacramento area.

Rose Murphy | NJUHSD
Rose has been a counselor and a teacher in the Nevada Joint Union High School District for the past 20 years. During this time she has explored, taught and presented on ways students can better prepare for their futures. With a degree in Elementary Education from Western Washington University, Rose found a passion working with high school students while completing a Master’s Degree in School Counseling and Psychology at LaVerne University in Southern CA.

Community Partners:

Community Recovery Resources
Grass Valley Police Department (GVPD)
Nevada County Children’s Mental Health
Nevada County Public Health
OneStop Career Center
Sierra College Nevada County Campus
The Union
Mountain Event Productions

View or Download the Parent Toolkit