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: November 2017

By CCY

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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!

 


Categories: Uncategorized

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

By CCY

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.


Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: October 2017

By CCY

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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!


Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: September 2017

By CCY

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. 


Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: August 2017

By CCY

Meet Suzy! 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. Suzy is also our August, 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 April 2017.

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

A CYCL counselor promoted this volunteer experience when he visited my college class.

Why did you want to become a counselor?

I wanted to become a CYCL counselor to gain personal and professional skills and to devote my time and care to people who are in need of help.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

For me, being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor is undoubtedly a humbling experience as well as a learning experience for mental/emotional growth. It thrills me to know that crisis counselors are trusted and looked upon by those who  are in need of comfort and may be of tremendous help to those who need it.

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

I find it difficult to strain from giving callers advice and not taking their problems home with me.

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

When not volunteering, I attend school at a university, babysit my beautiful niece, and hang out with my family and my friends.

What’s surprising fact about you?

I’m Panamanian.


Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: July 2017

By CCY

Meet Sara! 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. Sara is also our July, 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 September of 2015 with a break for the school year while at college on the east coast.

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

I was watching an episode of Supernatural that featured a suicide prevention line. I realized that that was something I was interested in. I looked up opportunities to work at a crisis line while 16, and found this volunteer position online. It’s an hour away from home, but here I am. #worthit

Why did you want to become a counselor?

I love helping people. I’ve been an emotional problem solver (for others) since middle school. This seemed like a great opportunity to support people through talking to them and a way to learn how to handle topics of suicide as they applied to my friends.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

It’s awesome! I get to spend time with the best co-workers, and talk to tons of beautiful young minds in need of support. I can’t think of a more enriching volunteer experience, and it’s why I haven’t managed to fully leave the crisis line behind, even for school.

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

I didn’t expect the number of inappropriate calls (and callers) that we hear from. It’s frustrating to go along with prank calls (and worse) to avoid hanging up on a caller in need that gives the wrong impression.

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

I work alongside therapists and program managers at the Nevada County Department of Children’s Behavioral Health and spend time involved with activism of any sort, but with a focus on college campus sexual assault. I also read, write, binge-watch shows on Netflix, and go on spontaneous adventures with friends.

What’s surprising fact about you?

I cannot cook for my life (I once managed to burn water). However, with the help of friends I learned how to make mochi ice cream balls this summer. So I know how to make mochi from scratch!


Volunteer of the Month: June 2017

By CCY

20170607_183154Meet Kristina! 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. Kristina is also our June, 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 a volunteer for almost a year now, I started in July 2016.

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

I heard about it through CSUS.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I have a passion for psychology and helping others, I also really enjoy working with the youth and having a positive impact.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor

Although it can be challenging at times it is great to help and keep an open mind while working with the callers.

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

Although there are a lot of repeat callers, there are always so many different types of callers with unique problems. The most challenging part I feel personally is when callers won’t talk and make it hard to help by rejecting every option. I was surprised that there are not as many extreme calls as I would’ve thought as it is considered a crisis line.

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

I work full time in property management. I really enjoy trying new places to eat, I love watching movies, reading, going to concerts, and I enjoy spending time with friends/family.

 

 


Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: May 2017

By CCY

IMG_9058Meet 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.


Categories: Uncategorized
By CCY

DSCF0018Meet 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!


Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: March 2017

By CCY

IMG_1886

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.