Katrina Rochelle Cherney

Youth Center prepares mother, small business owner for success in life

It started in middle school with The Youth Center’s after school program then led to volunteering and working as staff at the award-winning nonprofit, which successfully launched Katrina Rochelle Cherney success later in life.

The mother of four young children who now lives in Georgetown, Texas never forgot what she learned at The Youth Center, and says it helped her to launch her own small business that’s not so small anymore on Etsy.com. It sells creative works of wood jewelry organizers and burnt wood signs and shelving.

“It’s a full time job for me and my husband,” Cherney said. “We now have almost 1,800 sales in our Etsy Shop.” The best part is how the business allows them to raise and enjoy their children at home, in an historical place that’s also modern living. Their four children are 9-month-old Wyatt, 4-year-old Willow, 7-year-old Lilly, and 8-year-old Daisy. The family moved to Texas in 2018 to have a larger home in a place with a slower lifestyle.

“Katrina has always been a go-getter,” said Youth Center Executive Director Lina Lumme. “Her creative and artistic talents show through her work. We are proud to see what an amazing mom and entrepreneur she grew up to be.”

“The Youth Center was like a second home to me from a very young age, and I couldn’t leave it behind,” Cherney said.

Her story began when she was a 3 rd grader at Lee Elementary School in Los Alamitos living across the street from The Youth Center. She and neighborhood friends would come every day, playing pool and ping pong, watching movies, making new friends while looking up to staff member role models like Hans Lumme and others.

“When I started 6th grade at Oak Middle School, I made up a calendar at The Youth Center which had fun days like ‘crazy hair day’ and ‘dress up days,’” Cherney said. “I loved to participate in the different activities.”

This article was written by Laurie Hanson for The Youth Center.

Katrina Rochelle Cherney
Youth Center graduate Katrina Rochelle Cherney with her family. Now living in Texas and the mother of four young children, Katrina credits the Youth Center for a successful launch in later life that also include her husband and a not-so-small business on Etsy. Photo courtesy of the Youth Center in Los Alamitos.