Volunteer of the Month: April 2018

Published on April 26, 2018

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.

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.

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