The CCY Blog

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!

Volunteer of the Month: November 2017

November 8, 2017

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

How long have you been volunteering?

I started training in June, I’ve been with CYCL for 4 months.

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

I was actively seeking volunteer opportunities and found out about CYCL through Craigslist!

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I am pursuing my MFT, so I thought that working with transitional aged youth would be a great chance to gain experience and I love giving back to my community.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

I really love it. All the volunteers and staff are so supportive and dedicated to their work. It’s really inspiring. We’ve got a great team.

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

I think the most challenging aspect is not being able to just save the youth that call in and are bullied or ignored by their parents. The most surprising is how many “regulars” we have that call in.

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

I’m pretty busy! I’m a full-time psychology student. I also volunteer as a bearevmet counselor for hospice. I am a parttime hair stylist on the weekends and have 3 chihuahuas that keep me busy.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I’m a vegan and animal rights activist!

A Call to Action: Preventing and Ending Youth Homelessness in California

October 12, 2017

CCY Docs

Los Angeles – Yesterday, California State Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Blanca Rubio held a joint informational hearing at the Los Angeles LGBT Center to discuss the causes of homelessness among youth and young adults and the need for solutions, including funding, to get young people off the streets.

Members from the California Coalition for Youth testified before the committee on the causes of homelessness amongst youth, with family rejection and poverty being significant causes, as well as on the solutions needed to address the growing crisis.  Research shows that 20-40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT.  Out of those youth, 40% cite family rejection as the primary reason for their homelessness.

California had the highest number of youth experiencing homelessness in the United States with 11,222 unaccompanied youth and young adults on a single night during the 2016 point-in-time count, and nearly 80% of those youth are unsheltered.  Early numbers from the 2017 count reflected nearly 15,206 homeless youth and young adults—that’s more than UC Berkeley’s entire incoming class this fall.

“Fifty percent of chronically homeless people had their first homeless experience when they were youth,” stated Sherilyn Adams of Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco. “You want to stop chronic homelessness? Solve youth homelessness.”

CCY released “A Call to Action: Prevent and End Youth Homelessness in California” at the hearing outlining its plan for how the state can make youth homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.  California’s current efforts to address youth homelessness aren’t enough, and the Call to Action outlines a model to change course that will move the needle for these young people through the creation of an Office of Youth Homelessness charged with and held accountable for coordinating stakeholders, policies, and funding streams to provide resources to each county for prevention and early intervention support services, low barrier and diverse housing opportunities, and post-housing and follow-up services.

Youth homelessness is unacceptable, and it is a solvable crisis.

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