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: October 2018

October 10, 2018

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Meet our Volunteer of the Month, Ashley!

 

How long have you been volunteering?

I’ve been volunteering since June 2018! October is my fifth month of service.

 

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

I found about the California Youth Crisis Line through my friends in Psi Chi Honor Society – it seemed like almost all of them were volunteers at the line and they all talked about how much they enjoyed it.

 

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I wanted to become a Counselor because I’m passionate about helping others. I’ve always been the go-to person in my friend group when people are experiencing problems or difficulties, so it seemed like being a Crisis Counselor was a perfect fit and a great learning opportunity!

 

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

I’ve enjoyed my time at CYCL so much – I feel like I get to make a little bit of a difference in someone’s life every time I work a shift. I get to speak with so many interesting people with vastly different perspectives. It’s been a great experience so far. I look forward to learning so much more.

 

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

The most challenging thing about being a Crisis Counselor is sometimes not knowing what to say, but the most surprising thing has been finding out that sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. Often when a caller is done voicing their frustrations or challenges, they’ll find the solution for themselves embedded in their message.

 

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

When not on the line, I like to spend time with friends/family/dog, write in my journal, draw, or do school work.

 

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I would really like to learn Korean – I can say four words so far. (Hello/Yes/No/Thank You) It’s a work in progress. 🙂

SB 918 Signed into Law

September 27, 2018

California, CCY Docs, Policy Alerts

Governor Brown Takes Historic Step To Begin Addressing the Needs of Youth and Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness

 

Today, Governor Brown signed the Homeless Youth Act of 2018 – SB 918 (Wiener), which is one of the California Coalition for Youth’s sponsored bills.  This bill takes a significant first step for California to do the state-level system work and coordination necessary to prevent and end youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

SB 918 directs the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (Council) to set specific measurable goals and map progress towards ending youth homelessness. The Council will also work to:

  • Decrease the duration and frequency of youth who experience homelessness
  • Develop and collect data on county-level and statewide numbers on youth homelessness
  • Coordinate efforts to prevent homelessness among youth who were involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems
  • Coordinate with young people experiencing homelessness, appropriate state entities and other stakeholders to inform policy, practices, and programs

This bill recognizes that all young people, and in particular LGBTQ youth and youth of color, who are over-represented among youth experiencing homelessness, are recognized and that the state will work to address systematic barriers and lack of coordination in meeting their needs.  For too long, there has been no clear state agency or department responsible for addressing the needs of this vulnerable population.

The California Coalition for Youth worked with a broad group of stakeholders on SB 918, and was joined by Tipping Point Community, Equality California, John Burton Advocates for Youth, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and Housing California as co-sponsors of the measure.

Sherilyn Adams, Executive Director of Larkin Street Youth Services and Board Chair of the California Coalition for Youth said it best, “On behalf of CCY and our members, I want to thank Senator Wiener and Assemblywoman Rubio for their vision, leadership and relentless efforts on the bill, which came out of their joint hearing last fall on the issue. By signing SB 918, the Governor sets a path for our State to reduce youth homelessness.  SB 918 is bold action toward insuring that no young person lays their head on our street, and that every young person in our State has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Additionally, SB 918 builds upon recent actions taken in the 2018-19 State Budget of which CCY was instrumental.  Budget actions included moving the Council from the Department of Housing and Community Development to the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency – placing it closer to the Governor – and expanding the Council’s membership to include a seat for a formerly homeless youth.  The Budget also includes $500 million for the Homeless Emergency Aid Program, which includes a minimum 5% of these funds to be set aside to serve homeless youth or youth at risk of homelessness.

In addition to Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Rubio’s authorship, SB 918 is co-authored by Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Steven Glazer (D-Orinda), Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), Connie Leyva (D-Chino), Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada), Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), and Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego), Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace), Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona), Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley), and Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond).

 

Volunteer of the Month: September 2018

September 17, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Meet our Volunteer of the Month, Aaron!

 

How long have you been volunteering?

Almost three months!

 

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

From another volunteer and from a class I was taking.

 

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I wanted to help out the community and it seemed liked [The Crisis Line] is geared toward what I was interested in.

 

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It’s great, but challenging at times.  You never know what kind of call you may get.

 

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

How to approach every call we receive at the Crisis Line.

 

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

I like to work on music, go to school, and go to concerts (among many other things I like to do).

 

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I am a metalhead (one who enjoys metal music).

Volunteer of the Month: August 2018

August 15, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Meet our Volunteer of the Month, Mollie!

 

How long have you been volunteering?

I started volunteering in February, 2018.

 

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

I saw Logan present at a NAMI on Campus meeting at Sac State, and I had a lot of friends who volunteered.

 

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I was studying psychology with the hopes of going to graduate school for clinical psychology, so I wanted documentable counseling related experience. More than that, however, I come from a background that has involved many crisis situations. In the past, I essentially had to figure out how to perform crisis interventions on my own without any training, so I was excited to actually receive training and get better at helping people in my personal life.

 

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It feels like being a behind the scenes superhero. You get to anonymously (or alias-ly?) give back to your community. My schedule among other concerns typically do not allow me to be involved in traditional forms of activism that are more publically visible, so I am very glad to have the opportunity to give back on my time and in a way that better suits me.

 

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

I was surprised by the repeat callers and how much more I talked to them than other callers, which could be frustrating at times.  I was also surprised how so many of them sound like they have a script. I think that speaks a lot to how predictable people are despite the fact that we think we are not. People I know could make a caller profile about me, and it would probably seem just as scripted as any of our callers’. It would likely mention how much I complain about not having a cat.

 

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

I do a little bit too much. I have a full time job and a (very) part time job both at Sac State. I also volunteer in two research labs, one at Sac State and one at the UC Davis MIND Institute. I try to stay busy. I have been reading more for pleasure lately, which is nice. I have also had the opportunity to explore the area a little bit more and dust off my camera. I am trying to experience more of Sacramento and the surrounding areas before I move. I think I am going to start knitting again and maybe do a few new charcoal drawings to decorate my new apartment.

 

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I can eat a lot, like A LOT.

Volunteer of the Month: July 2018

July 12, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to our July Volunteer of the Month, Michael!

How long have you been volunteering?

Since July 2017.

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

Tabling at the “So You Want to Get Involved” fair.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I plan on working in the mental health field and I thought this was a good way to go about getting experience! Also this can help me academically.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

I think that it helps me learn how to approach situations from different angles and find new ways to propose open-ended questions and allow the caller to come to novel or reassuring conclusions on their own.

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

What’s most surprising is how simply talking and asking the right question can really make a difference. Resources are not always needed, most of my productive calls had no resources involved.

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

I enjoy personality typing, philosophy, anime, movies and tv.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I hate taking selfies.

Volunteer of the Month: June 2018

July 12, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

This is our June Volunteer of the Month, David!

How long have you been volunteering?

Since February 2018

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

I heard about it from other students at Sac State, and got involved by signing up for PSYC143 (Community Psychology practicum)

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

One of my most influential experiences was talking a friend through crisis as a teen, and it has been that experience that got me involved in psychology in general and on the path to becoming an MFT. I also made a goal to get more involved in and out of school to bolster my CV, and being a Counselor sounded like an excellent opportunity.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It brings a sense of accomplishment to know that I’m having a positive impact on people’s lives. Helping people to see that they have the power to find their own solutions is wonderful and makes me glad I decided to volunteer here.

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

It is challenging when a caller has made wrong assumptions or come to wrong conclusions, and you have to help guide them to their own answers rather than trying to give them answers from your perspective.

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

I like to hang out with friends, play games, read books, go rock climbing at the Well on campus, listen to music, and watch Netflix or YouTube.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I have four siblings, two brothers and two sisters.

Volunteer of the Month: May 2018

July 12, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

This is Stephen! Our May Volunteer of the Month.

How long have you been volunteering?

Since August 2017

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

There was a presentation from a CYCL counselor in my PSYC101 class.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

I have always skipped small talk in everyday conversations, and am more comfortable talking about real issues and how people really feel, I could see myself being able to contribute greatly in a crisis line position. Most of the time I am listening intently, people always assumed I was shy as a child when really I was carefully attending to what people, especially new acquaintances, had to say. Besides that, it fits perfectly into an extracurricular for a psyc major’s C.V., so that is a plus.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

It’s like doing something, instead of just shaking your head and sayint “that is a shame” to considering the psychological stressors and ethical struggles our youth in this country endure. It feels brighter outside when I leave my shift.

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

It is challenging when you hear that someone has been incredibly misguided and wronged, but you must maintain the role of a passive listener

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

School, music, video games, camping, paddleboarding, elder care, research, dancing, anything but hunged over a smartphone.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I can sing. That seems to surprise everyone.

Volunteer of the Month: April 2018

April 26, 2018

CYCL News, CYCL Volunteer of the Month

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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