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: May 2017

May 3, 2017

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

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

How long have you been volunteering?

My very first shift was August 2015

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

It’s an emotional rollercoaster!

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

No matter how prepared we are as Counselors, the first “serious” call is always challenging, and no matter how long you’ve been taking calls, it’s surprising how there are times you don’t know what to say.

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

I work at a sushi restaurant part-time, and enjoy going to the gym. I will be going back to school starting this Summer to pursue my dream of becoming a Social Worker.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I have a slight obsession for indoor plants. I currently have a little over thirty plants, and it’s still growing.

Volunteer of the Month: April 2017

April 10, 2017

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

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

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering at the California Youth Crisis Line for 6 months now.

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

I found out about the crisis line through volunteer match.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I wanted to become a volunteer because I wanted to be able to help those in need and I thought it would be beneficial for myself to gain experience in counseling for my future career aspirations.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

It is a very rewarding experience, like most things it comes with its challenges but, I do my best to help each caller.

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

I think that I find most challenging about being a volunteer is not always being able to find out how they are doing after the call, sometimes they call back and let us know but, most the time we have to hope things worked out for them. The thing I find most surprising is how comfortable I feel talking with the callers and how I feel like each call I have helped in at least a small way.

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

When I am not on the line I am typically catching up on some of my favorite podcasts or shows or I am working on responding to emails.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

A surprising fact about me is that I was on the Price is Right and won the showcase showdown. I won a trip to Jamaica and a jet ski!

Volunteer of the Month: March 2017

March 8, 2017

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

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: February 2017

February 8, 2017

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

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

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering for about one year and ten months.

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

One of my psychology professors had sent out a notice about a volunteering opportunity to work for the CYCL.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I wanted to talk with young people in California and help them through their issues. And, I was interested in building experience for grad school in therapy.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

I love it! I love talking with new people every week about what’s going on in their lives. It’s a joy being able to help with their issues and provide support which ever way I can. There’s a friendly, supportive work environment here at the CCY too that makes it a pleasure to volunteer.

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

Coming up with suggestions for people can be very difficult sometimes, especially when you have zero knowledge about a particular person’s dilemma. And, calls about suicide and serious mental issues are always a challenge. I’ve found that you need to be very gentle and attentive to callers in a mental crisis, especially when they’re a danger to themselves.

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

I work for a nonprofit child and family services agency in Placerville, CA. Otherwise I enjoy time with family and friends, playing video games, and playing/listening to music.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I can wiggle my ears.

Volunteer of the Month: January 2017

January 10, 2017

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Meet Tyler! 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. Tyler is also our January, 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 the end of October.

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

I found out about CYCL through my friend Navin who is also a volunteer at the crisis line and goes to Sac State with me.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I wanted to become a counselor because I wanted to get experience in the field since I am applying to the Counselor Masters program at Sac State.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

I have had really good experiences since starting at the Crisis Line. It feels good to be able to be there for people when they call.

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

The most challenging thing for me is learning not to ask “why” to callers.

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

When not working at the crisis line, I go to school full time at Sac State and work part time at my family’s business.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

A surprising fact about me is that I have moved over 20 times in my lifetime.

Capitol Advocacy Days! RSVP Today!

January 3, 2017

CCY Docs

Every January, the California Coalition for Youth’s Board of Directors meet in Sacramento for a quarterly board meeting. In conjunction with this meeting, the board also participates in CCY’s annual Capitol Advocacy Day, where they join CCY’s staff in visits with State Legislators. As we have in the past, we are extending this opportunity to executive-level staff at our member agencies.

We are excited to invite you, as an agency member of CCY, to join us for our Capitol Advocacy Day on February 1st, 2017 in Sacramento, CA. Your participation in this event will help us make a powerful impact in the Capitol and allow us to amplify our advocacy for runaway and homeless youth throughout California. 2017 is a critical year as our #1 priority is to advocate for more funding for RHY services in California. With your help, we can raise awareness levels, and get more legislation passed for our Runaway and Homeless Youth and the organizations that provide them much-needed services and support. Also note, attendees will be arranged in teams with CCY Board Members taking the lead, so you won’t be doing visits alone!

2017’s Advocacy Day, is scheduled to be a one-day event beginning at 8:30am with a welcome, opening remarks and an orientation, followed by visits with legislators until about 4pm. Please note that we will be offering the orientation as a webinar prior to the actual day (for those who cannot attend the orientation on Advocacy Day). CCY will be scheduling legislative visits for you, and we will do our best to make sure you are visiting your area’s legislators.

Our advocacy visits will focus on CCY’s top priorities, including the need for more funding to serve the growing population of homeless youth, and specific issues and challenges facing runaway and homeless youth. Additionally, if you’re scheduling to come in the day before, we would like to invite you to attend CCY’s annual fundraiser, Advocacy After Dark scheduled for January 31st, 2017, as our guest. We will have more details on this event soon.

We hope you can participate, and if someone on your staff is interested and would also like to participate in our Capitol Advocacy Day, please RSVP to info@calyouth.org at your earliest convenience, but no later than Monday, January 16, 2017.

Volunteer of the Month: December 2016

December 6, 2016

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Meet Amber! 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. Amber is also our December, 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 for the California Youth Crisis Line since August 2015

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

I found out aout the crisis line through outreach on Sac State’s campus and a volunteer informing me about the line, and sharing their experience at the crisis line as a counselor, and the rest is history!

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I wanted to become a counselor because I wanted to get experience helping youth. I wanted to challenge myself with helping youth in situations such as homelessness, trauma, bullying, etc. Becoming a crisis counselor was the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about crisis intervention.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

Being a crisis counselor is a humbling experience, and it feels good to know that me and my fellow counselors are making a difference in someone else’s life. When a caller thanks you for your help, and knowing they appreciated your support in their time of need, THAT feels good.

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

The most challenging/surprising aspect about the line are the calls. They’re unpredictible, and you never know what kind of call you’re about to get. And that’s what makes volunteering fun, no two shifts are the same.

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

In my spare time, I enjoy exercising, watching makeup tutorials, painting, drawing, and writing in my journal.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I’m left handed and I love poodles

Volunteer of the Month: November 2016

November 10, 2016

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Meet Alex! He’s one of our awesome volunteers that works extremely hard 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 have been a Crisis Intervention Counselor for 4 years.

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

My exposure to CCY started when my best friend, Alice Thomas, invited me to a Human Trafficking Conference. I met a couple of staff members and fell in love with the purpose of the organization.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

Becoming a counselor was important to me because i knew it would give me the opportunity to improve my communication and listening skills. It also keeps me  grounded, reminding me that life is not to be taken for granted.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

Volunteering as a Crisis Intervention Counselor has been both challenging and rewarding. I have experienced some terrifying calls and have made some lifetime friends. As time goes on, my challenges and rewards change. I dedicate every second on the line to listening and acting as a sound board for the caller, like we are all trained. This discipline has been a huge part of my success with CCY. Oh yeah, and the social events here are pretty legit.

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

The most challenging part of the job is empowering youth even when your own day didn’t go so well.

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

When not on the line, i enjoy going to the beach, trying new restraints, going to concerts, and watching law and order: Special Victims Unit.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

A surprising fact about me is that i am Legally Blind. No, i am not completely blind, I am again legally blind

Volunteer of the Month: October 2016

October 6, 2016

CYCL Volunteer of the Month

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

September 7, 2016

CYCL Volunteer of the Month

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)

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