The CCY Blog

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: September 2018

September 17, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Meet our Volunteer of the Month, Aaron!

 

How long have you been volunteering?

Almost three months!

 

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

From another volunteer and from a class I was taking.

 

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I wanted to help out the community and it seemed liked [The Crisis Line] is geared toward what I was interested in.

 

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It’s great, but challenging at times.  You never know what kind of call you may get.

 

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

How to approach every call we receive at the Crisis Line.

 

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

I like to work on music, go to school, and go to concerts (among many other things I like to do).

 

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I am a metalhead (one who enjoys metal music).

Volunteer of the Month: August 2018

August 15, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Meet our Volunteer of the Month, Mollie!

 

How long have you been volunteering?

I started volunteering in February, 2018.

 

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

I saw Logan present at a NAMI on Campus meeting at Sac State, and I had a lot of friends who volunteered.

 

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I was studying psychology with the hopes of going to graduate school for clinical psychology, so I wanted documentable counseling related experience. More than that, however, I come from a background that has involved many crisis situations. In the past, I essentially had to figure out how to perform crisis interventions on my own without any training, so I was excited to actually receive training and get better at helping people in my personal life.

 

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It feels like being a behind the scenes superhero. You get to anonymously (or alias-ly?) give back to your community. My schedule among other concerns typically do not allow me to be involved in traditional forms of activism that are more publically visible, so I am very glad to have the opportunity to give back on my time and in a way that better suits me.

 

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

I was surprised by the repeat callers and how much more I talked to them than other callers, which could be frustrating at times.  I was also surprised how so many of them sound like they have a script. I think that speaks a lot to how predictable people are despite the fact that we think we are not. People I know could make a caller profile about me, and it would probably seem just as scripted as any of our callers’. It would likely mention how much I complain about not having a cat.

 

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

I do a little bit too much. I have a full time job and a (very) part time job both at Sac State. I also volunteer in two research labs, one at Sac State and one at the UC Davis MIND Institute. I try to stay busy. I have been reading more for pleasure lately, which is nice. I have also had the opportunity to explore the area a little bit more and dust off my camera. I am trying to experience more of Sacramento and the surrounding areas before I move. I think I am going to start knitting again and maybe do a few new charcoal drawings to decorate my new apartment.

 

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I can eat a lot, like A LOT.

Volunteer of the Month: July 2018

July 12, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to our July Volunteer of the Month, Michael!

How long have you been volunteering?

Since July 2017.

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

Tabling at the “So You Want to Get Involved” fair.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I plan on working in the mental health field and I thought this was a good way to go about getting experience! Also this can help me academically.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

I think that it helps me learn how to approach situations from different angles and find new ways to propose open-ended questions and allow the caller to come to novel or reassuring conclusions on their own.

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

What’s most surprising is how simply talking and asking the right question can really make a difference. Resources are not always needed, most of my productive calls had no resources involved.

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

I enjoy personality typing, philosophy, anime, movies and tv.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I hate taking selfies.

Volunteer of the Month: June 2018

July 12, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

This is our June Volunteer of the Month, David!

How long have you been volunteering?

Since February 2018

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

I heard about it from other students at Sac State, and got involved by signing up for PSYC143 (Community Psychology practicum)

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

One of my most influential experiences was talking a friend through crisis as a teen, and it has been that experience that got me involved in psychology in general and on the path to becoming an MFT. I also made a goal to get more involved in and out of school to bolster my CV, and being a Counselor sounded like an excellent opportunity.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It brings a sense of accomplishment to know that I’m having a positive impact on people’s lives. Helping people to see that they have the power to find their own solutions is wonderful and makes me glad I decided to volunteer here.

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

It is challenging when a caller has made wrong assumptions or come to wrong conclusions, and you have to help guide them to their own answers rather than trying to give them answers from your perspective.

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

I like to hang out with friends, play games, read books, go rock climbing at the Well on campus, listen to music, and watch Netflix or YouTube.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I have four siblings, two brothers and two sisters.

Volunteer of the Month: May 2018

July 12, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

This is Stephen! Our May Volunteer of the Month.

How long have you been volunteering?

Since August 2017

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

There was a presentation from a CYCL counselor in my PSYC101 class.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I have always skipped small talk in everyday conversations, and am more comfortable talking about real issues and how people really feel, I could see myself being able to contribute greatly in a crisis line position. Most of the time I am listening intently, people always assumed I was shy as a child when really I was carefully attending to what people, especially new acquaintances, had to say. Besides that, it fits perfectly into an extracurricular for a psyc major’s C.V., so that is a plus.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It’s like doing something, instead of just shaking your head and sayint “that is a shame” to considering the psychological stressors and ethical struggles our youth in this country endure. It feels brighter outside when I leave my shift.

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

It is challenging when you hear that someone has been incredibly misguided and wronged, but you must maintain the role of a passive listener

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

School, music, video games, camping, paddleboarding, elder care, research, dancing, anything but hunged over a smartphone.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I can sing. That seems to surprise everyone.

Volunteer of the Month: April 2018

April 26, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Meet our volunteer of the Month for April, Sarah!

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering for the CYCL for about a month now.

 

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

I think I came across an ad on Volunteers.com last year and decided to send an email!

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

Its really important to me to be an active member in my community, and mental health is something that I feel passionate about. It’s something that affects everyone, but especially youth, it can mean anything from helping someone with a stressful day to being there for someone who doesn’t have anyone. That being said, I was an at risk youth at some point in my life.

 

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

 

I think it’s fun in the sense there’s a strong sense of community. You get a wide variety of calls from repeat callers, some you may or may not like, to speaking to someone who has some of the same problems you do. It’s really cool  to go through the mechanics of empowerment and self improvement with another person together. Becoming an intimate friend with strangers starts being really easy.

 

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

Definitely the most challenging for me about being a Volunteer Crisis Counselor is trying to gauge what kind of boundaries and steps you have to take to get the caller to where they feel confident in their abilities again. There’s no formula and everyone has a different pace, and trying to get that reassurance in a phone call is sometimes challenging. Some callers want some sort of directive phrasing which wouldn’t be productive.

 

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

I really enjoy stand up comedy, I write, but haven’t really had the courage to get on stage. I’m an undergrad and have been in community college for awhile. I’m hoping I’ll be heading to Davis this fall, my degree is in public service but I really want to switch it to something else.

 

What’s a surprising fact about you?

When I was younger I grew up in a Buddhist monastery until I turned 12.

Volunteer of the Month: March 2018

March 8, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

 

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering at CYCL for eight, almost nine months.

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

I found out through a friend that I shared a few classes with.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I really enjoy interacting with people and finding out how we are a lot more similar than we believe. I think this helps people feel as if they are not alone, which is something I wish I knew when I was younger. I really just wanted to convey that message out to others and I knew volunteering at CYCL would be the way I could attempt to do that.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It can be a very exciting, yet challenging position. It is exciting when you get a caller who you can tell is ready to accept help/resources. It is challenging though when the caller seems stagnant and you know they are still hitting their rock bottom before they begin the climb back up.

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

The most challenging aspect of being a volunteer is wanting to magically help callers help themselves after just one conversation and realizing it does not always work that way.

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

When I am not volunteering at the line I am working as a veterinary assistant. I am also preparing myself to apply to PhD programs in biopsychology. I enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors (trail running, hiking, kayaking, etc.) whenever possible.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I come off as an extrovert, but identify with being introverted.

Volunteer of the Month: February 2018

February 14, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Every month, the California Youth Crisis Line puts forward an exemplary volunteer to be named Volunteer of the Month, and the California Coalition for Youth highlights this amazing volunteer on all their channels! Below is the “virtual interview” between our Communications Coordinator, Jason Alviar, and February’s Volunteer o’ the Month, Katherine!

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering for about 8 months now.

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

I was volunteering at a mental health warm line and wanted to gain more experience in advocacy, so I did some research and found the CA youth crisis line on VolunteerMatch.org.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

My future career goal is to get my masters in genetic counseling, so this counseling and advocacy experience is a great way to build on some of the skills I will need down the road. I also just enjoy being able to help others and volunteer my time to an organization that does so much good for the community.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

At times it is challenging because each call is different, so the resources and needs of each caller are always changing, but overall it is very rewarding. Being able to leave my shift and feel like I have helped the callers is an amazing feeling and is why I enjoy this type of work.

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

The most challenging part of being a crisis counselor is the uncertainty of each call. Like I mentioned before, each person we talk to is going to be different from the next so assessing each caller and deciding how to best assist them is what I find most difficult. I like that each call better equips me for the next because every conversation is a learning experience.

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

I when I am not at the line I work full time for a Disability Law Firm assisting disabled individuals to fill out applications for social security disability. This work also allows me to help others and advocate for them through a really difficult process. When I’m not working or volunteering I am usually hanging out with friends and watching way too much Netflix.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I don’t really have a go to fun fact about myself, but one thing that always surprises people is that I don’t like chocolate. My favorite “food” is hot sauce and I will put it on pretty much anything that I’m eating!

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