CYCL Volunteer of the Month

The mission of the California Coalition for Youth is to empower and improve the lives of California’s youth. In line with this, the California Coalition for Youth created the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) as an opportunity for youth (ages 12-24) to get involved in their local and state communities. With this in mind, this space is meant to provide the YAB as well as other youth or youth supporters a chance to share their opinions on current events, creative content or anything similar and relevant.

We invite everyone including readers to submit content and ideas for this space on a continuous basis.

Volunteer of the Month: July 2017

By CCY

Meet Sara! She’s one of our FAN-TASTIC  volunteers that works extremely hard to ensure youth in crisis, all across California, have someone to talk to. Sara is also our July, Volunteer of the Month!  Below is her “virtual interview” conducted by the California Coalition for Youth’s Communication Coordinator, Jason.

How long have you been volunteering?

 I have been volunteering since September of 2015 with a break for the school year while at college on the east coast.

How did you find out about the California Youth Crisis Line?

I was watching an episode of Supernatural that featured a suicide prevention line. I realized that that was something I was interested in. I looked up opportunities to work at a crisis line while 16, and found this volunteer position online. It’s an hour away from home, but here I am. #worthit

Why did you want to become a counselor?

I love helping people. I’ve been an emotional problem solver (for others) since middle school. This seemed like a great opportunity to support people through talking to them and a way to learn how to handle topics of suicide as they applied to my friends.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

It’s awesome! I get to spend time with the best co-workers, and talk to tons of beautiful young minds in need of support. I can’t think of a more enriching volunteer experience, and it’s why I haven’t managed to fully leave the crisis line behind, even for school.

What do you find most challenging or surprising (or both!) about being a Volunteer Crisis Counselor?

I didn’t expect the number of inappropriate calls (and callers) that we hear from. It’s frustrating to go along with prank calls (and worse) to avoid hanging up on a caller in need that gives the wrong impression.

When not on the line what do you do with your time? (hobbies, work, school, etc?)

I work alongside therapists and program managers at the Nevada County Department of Children’s Behavioral Health and spend time involved with activism of any sort, but with a focus on college campus sexual assault. I also read, write, binge-watch shows on Netflix, and go on spontaneous adventures with friends.

What’s surprising fact about you?

I cannot cook for my life (I once managed to burn water). However, with the help of friends I learned how to make mochi ice cream balls this summer. So I know how to make mochi from scratch!


Volunteer of the Month: March 2017

By CCY

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Meet Alison! She’s one of our FAN-TASTIC  volunteers that works extremely hard to ensure youth in crisis, all across California, have someone to talk to. Alison is also our March, Volunteer of the Month!  Below is her “virtual interview” conducted by the California Coalition for Youth’s Communication Coordinator, Jason.

 

How long have you been volunteering?

Nearly a year and a half

How did you find out about the California Youth Crisis Line?

I was looking through Craigslist for volunteer opportunities and I stumbled across the California Youth Crisis Line!

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I am English and in the USA on a visitor visa so not being able to work I was looking for some volunteering and I’ve always liked listening to people and I have 2 children 21 and 22 so I felt I could still relate to youth.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

Sometimes fun, sometimes scary, sometimes frustrating, sometimes satisfying.

What do you find most challenging or surprising (or both!) about being a Volunteer Crisis Counselor?

Most challenging is not knowing if I can be of any use to the person calling.

When not on the line what do you do with your time? (hobbies, work, school, etc?)

Apart from looking after the home which I love – cooking and cleaning. I am active in a couple of other voluntary positions one withe Senior Day Care the other as Philanthrophy Director of El Dorado Hills Newcomers Club and I babysit a 4 year old every week. And of course I love to lunch with friends and shop.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I am 58 years old.


Volunteer of the Month: October 2016

By CCY

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Meet Kacee! She’s one of our Ah-mazing volunteers that works at maximum capacity to ensure youth in crisis, all across California, have someone to talk to.  Below is the “virtual interview” conducted by the California Coalition for Youth’s Communication Coordinator, Jason.

How long have you been volunteering?

I’ve been volunteering since the middle of February.

How did you find out about the California Youth Crisis Line?

I found about the California Youth Crisis Line when Refugio Pantoja came into one of my psychology class and told the class about the Crisis Line.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I became a Counselor because I wanted to be a person that someone could talk to and hopefully make a differences in those people’s life. What really motivated me to become a counselor was because I lost someone very close to me from suicide about two years ago. I feel like if he knew about these services, or just had someone to talk to without being judged, he could still be alive today. Now that I am a counselor, I’m hoping that I can make a difference is someone’s life.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

Being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor is very rewarding. As a volunteer counselor I feel like I can make a difference is someone’s life. Sometimes all people really need is someone to vent to and I am willing to hear and listen to their story. Everyone has their own story about their life and they all have different experiences so it’s interesting to hear everyone’s story and hear what they are going through. Sometimes the calls are very serious but I also do get those calls that are uplifting and every call changes my perspective on life.

What do you find most challenging or surprising (or both!) about being a Volunteer Crisis Counselor?

The most challenging aspect of being a Volunteer Crisis Counselor is that we can only provide a limited amount of resources. Volunteering made me realize that there aren’t enough resources for young children. I always wish I could do more for the person that is in that certain crisis. It’s always very challenging to hear callers lose all hope in life and feel like there is no purpose in life.

When not on the line what do you do with your time? (hobbies, work, school, etc?)

I go to school full time at California State University, Sacramento so most my time is dedicated to school. I also play rugby for Sac state. I work as a lifeguard and I teach swim lessons! I also teach CPR classes in my spare time. I enjoy skiing and I’m so excited that snow is beginning to fall in Lake Tahoe! I also enjoy being with my friends and whenever we have spare time, we take adventures and try to explore as much of California as we can. I grew up in the country so I love riding dirt bikes and four-wheelers. I also enjoy fishing and hunting!


Volunteer of the Month: September 2016

By CCY

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Volunteer of the Month: September 2016

Meet Laura! She’s one of our rock-star volunteers that go above and beyond to make sure that youth in crisis, all across California, have someone to talk to.  Below is the “virtual interview” conducted with Larua by the California Coalition for Youth’s Communication Coordinator, Jason.

How long have you been volunteering?

I started volunteering in October of 2013, so I’m coming up my 3-year benchmark.

How did you find out about the California Youth Crisis Line?

Google!  I was looking for volunteer opportunities, and it was one of the sites that came up during my online search.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

A combination of wanting to meet new people and a desire to put my knowledge of social and psychological issues to use.  I was new to the State when I was looking for volunteer opportunities and was trying to find a way to connect with my new California community  

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It’s a rollercoaster ride.  Sometimes we get calls that end well and some calls that don’t, and everyone has a story to tell so there’s never a dull moment.  The people who answer calls are just as interesting as the people who call us, and there’s always something new to learn.

What do you find most challenging or surprising (or both!) about being a Volunteer Crisis Counselor?

Finding a balance between what’s possible as a volunteer and what I simply can’t do. Some callers have problems that can be solved, but not always, and it can be hard sometimes to find that line.

When not on the line what do you do with your time? (hobbies, work, school, etc?)

I’m an artist of many disciplines who enjoys walking along the river with my dog.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I draw duck versions of famous characters and personalities with my friend Alice for our Instagram @behindeveryduck (Mark Duckalo)