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 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.


Volunteer of the Month: February 2017

By CCY

tuckerMeet 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.

 


Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: January 2017

By CCY

unnamedMeet 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.


Categories: Uncategorized

Capitol Advocacy Days! RSVP Today!

By CCY

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.


Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: December 2016

By CCY

fullsizerender-1

 

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


Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: November 2016

By CCY

alexMeet 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.

Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteer of the Month: October 2016

By CCY

dscf8770

 

 

 

 

 

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

By CCY

12376364951020166261944500795752343377225001781995n1

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)


CCY Spotlight: A Way Home America

By CCY

Profile for California Coalition for Youth: An Interview with A Way Home America

The California Coalition for Youth sat down with A Way Home America – virtually, at least – to find out more about this new national initiative.

What is the purpose and mission of A Way Home America?

A Way Home America (AWHA) is a national initiative to build the movement to prevent and end homelessness among young people. We are homeless youth providers, advocates, researchers, government agencies, philanthropists and young people uniting behind a common goal:

By the end of 2020, prevent and end homelessness among all youth and young adults. Ensure that homelessness among youth and young adults is rare, and if it occurs, experiences of homelessness are brief and one-time.

We are not an organization — we are an initiative with the sole purpose of ending youth homelessness. We formally launched at the beginning of June 2016, corresponding with the White House Policy Briefing on Ending Youth Homelessness. Engagement and planning around this initiative occurred over the year prior.

Who Does AWHA Serve?
The focus of AWHA is joining to speak in a collective voice and build the movement to end youth homelessness – including a particular focus on partnering with young people who have experienced homelessness as collaborators and advisors. We do not offer direct service.

Why is AWHA important?
AWHA has been gathering over the past year because we understand that we are at a critical moment to leverage national, state, and local momentum to end youth homelessness: efforts in local communities throughout the country are underway, efforts which often build on decades of experience with young people; federal agencies are addressing this issue in greater coordination than in the past; and there is increased philanthropic commitment, research focus, and public awareness.

By linking arms together in new ways across our various roles and perspectives, we leverage a once-in-a-movement opportunity to improve supports for young people and continue learning how to prevent and respond to youth homelessness in a coordinated way across communities.

How can others get involved with AWHA?
Please follow AWHA on social media and join our mailing list! Stay tuned for some upcoming tools and learning activities around the 100-Day Challenges: podcasts featuring the National Youth Forum on Homelessness, videos, and webinars. Also, approximately twice annually, AWHA has an in-person Advisory Community gathering that all are welcome to attend.

Spread the word, join the movement.

Twitter – @awayhomeamerica
Facebook – www.facebook.com/awayhomeamerica/
Instagram – www.instagram.com/awayhomeamerica/

Anything new coming down the pipeline (with AWHA) that people should be on the look-out for?
AWHA is particularly excited about the launch of 100 Day Challenges, starting September 7th, in Austin, Cleveland and Los Angeles. We’ll have a number of activities to allow communities across the country to “follow the challenges” and learn alongside these great communities!

For more information and for links to our blog and social media, www.awayhomeamerica.org.

a-way-home-america-youth-homelessness


Categories: CCY News

My Experience at Taking Action Conference 2016

By CCY

I had the privilege of attending the Taking Action Conference [TAC] hosted by CCY [California Coalition for Youth] this year in Sacramento, CA. During this trip (which was my second TAC) I felt more comfortable and was able to better enjoy the whole experience. This year, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with many wonderful people, all of whom were trying to better the world around them and elicit change in the lives of our youth. I was able to help lead a workshop on “how to properly advocate” [for legislative visits], as well as lead a team through a some of the legislative visits in the capitol.

IMG_0471

According to some of my team, I did a great job in leading discussions with legislators, which was a shock to me since it was my second time (ever!) participating in the legislative visits, and it just goes to show that age and experience won’t hold you back if you’re willing to rise up to the challenge and give it your best shot!

IMG_0523

My favorite part of the conference was the [youth] rally. I love the opportunity it gives both youth and adults in the ability to share their thoughts and stories. I read a poem I prepared just as I did at the 2015 conference and was so moved to see that people were touched by my words.

IMG_0902

My recommendation to all who attend the conference is to stay steady in your pursuits for justice and not to allow the conference to be an excuse for you to just be an activist for just once a year. Take the tools gathered in Sacramento and use them in your own circle of influence.

If we all make small positive changes for those around us it has the potential to start a snowball effect of beneficial growth for the communities we all wish to see thrive. Stay strong and keep moving on.


Categories: Youth Voices