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!