The San Rafael Police Department is dedicated to helping at-risk youth create better opportunities for themselves and help set them on a positive path forward. One of our most influential programs is Camp Chance, a program designed to offer under-served kids an opportunity to experience traditional summer camp, as well as interact and build rapport with police officers. At the forefront of this program was Rebecca Kuga. Earlier this month, Rebecca lost a hard fought battle with breast cancer.
Rebecca started her career with the City of San Rafael in 2006 following her Master of Science in Counseling Psychology at Dominican University which she used to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. For 13 years Rebecca ran Camp Chance and her contributions through this program were monumental. She leveraged her skills as a Marriage and Family therapist to counsel at-risk youth and their families, she supervised psychology interns who were completing clinical hours towards licensure, and devoted thousands of hours volunteering at First Responder Support Network, a week long workshop for first responders working through the trauma of a critical incident.
“I would not be who I am or where I am without my Mama Bear, Rebecca!” , says Ortiz, “she’s my biggest role model.”
– Genesis Ortiz-Rubio, Camp Chance attendee
Additionally, Rebecca also assisted with peer support, worked on the Crisis Negotiation Team, Crime Scene Investigation team, and unofficially, she was the shepherd of the “morning coffee crew” at Aroma Café. She was always looking out for everyone in her life, whether it was her colleagues, friends, family, even the cooks and dishwashers at Aroma, collecting holiday funds to express her appreciation.
Rebecca’s legacy is cemented in our community. Her contributions had a positive impact to the lives of those she crossed paths with and made a pivotal difference to the youth who were fortunate to work with her.
In Rebecca’s honor, Camp Chance will be renamed Camp Kuga.