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: 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.

Volunteer of the Month: October 2017

October 5, 2017

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

How long have you been volunteering?

I started volunteering after I completed the training in February 2017.

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

I found out about the position while looking for opportunities to volunteer in the field of youth mental health in Sacramento.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I wanted to become a counselor because I am interested in developing a career in youth mental health through counseling and research.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

Being a counselor is a really rewarding job. It can definitely be difficult and it’s easy to get down on yourself, but the calls where you really know that you made a positive impact are completely worth it.

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

I have been most surprised by the amount of parents or family friends who call to ask about the line or other resources for a loved one.

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

I work full-time at the UC Davis MIND Institute coordinating the Autism Phenome Project. In my free time I love to bake, go on hikes, and coach lacrosse!

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I played lacrosse in college!

Volunteer of the Month: September 2017

September 13, 2017

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

At the California Coalition for youth, we enjoy highlighting our Crisis Line Volunteers for the amazing work that they do. Let us introduce, Areli, one of our hardworking Crisis Line Volunteers. Below is from her virtual “interview” conducted by our communications coordinator, Jason Alviar.

How long have you been volunteering?

I’ve been volunteering for almost a year now.

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

I found out about the Crisis Line in one of my classes at Sac State, we had a counselor come and give a presentation about the line. 

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

After hearing the presentation made by one of the counselors, I knew that it was the perfect organization for me to be a volunteer.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

Being a counselor is great! The best part is knowing that you help someone feel better simply by listening to them and helping them find solutions on their own.

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

The most surprising thing about being a volunteer is realizing that there are so many people that don’t have anyone to talk to about their problems.

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

When I’m not on the line I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. My favorite hobby is dancing Salsa and Bachata.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

On my 16th Birthday I went skydiving. I plan to do it again but I’m just looking for a perfect spot. 

Page 2 of 41234