Learn about our Volunteers 01: Sienna

Published on January 14, 2020

My name is Jason and I am a staff member at the California Youth Crisis Line. Twice a month I will be interviewing volunteers and staff members and share our conversations on the California Youth Crisis Line blog and newsletter. Today, I’ll be sharing a discussion I’ve had with one of our volunteers, Sienna, who’s been with the Crisis Line for a year and a half.

Jason: So Sienna, what attracted you to helping youth in crisis?

Sienna: I’m a psychology major and my psych society club mentioned this opportunity and I was excited that people from my major also volunteer here. I also wanted to get experience in helping people and answering phone calls, so I applied, and I volunteer here now.

J: That’s awesome! Well, I’m glad that you’re with us.  Now, what would you say is your proudest moment here at the California Youth Crisis Line?

S: It’s not a “proudest moment” per se but whenever I get a phone call and I’m on the phone for maybe an hour or so and at the very end the caller let me know that they’re especially grateful that it was me that answered the phone.  I remember one caller specifically who said, ‘I’m glad that you answered the phone’ and that they had not as pleasant or helpful experiences in the past with other helplines.  I really take pride in the work that I do, I really like helping people and I’m happy that I was able to help.

J: Is this your first time Volunteering?

S: Yup! [the California Youth Crisis Line] was my first time, I volunteer at other places now, but this place is the very first place I’ve ever volunteered.

J: So why do you volunteer?

S: I like helping people. I know that’s such a clichéd answer, but if I can volunteer my time at an organization that I’m passionate about then I will. But I also enjoy meeting the people I’m volunteering with and making connections, it’s nice. I’ve made a ton of new friends here, we go to the movies together, we spend holidays together, it’s great.

J: I think it’s amazing that you’ve been able to really build a strong network of friends here, thank you for sharing that. One last question, what would you tell someone who’s thinking about volunteering with the California Youth Crisis Line, or volunteering in general?

S: A few people who I know are psychology majors that want to get into family therapy or are thinking of getting into social work have asked me this before, and what I tell them is this: ‘If you think this is the path for you, then you should definitely go for it. Just apply, it’s a great place to go, and this place will really let you know if you’re cut out for therapy because you’ll get a lot of interesting phone calls that are completely different from one another. And if you can handle it you’ll know that you love it and that this is the path for you, but if you can’t handle it this place is also a great indicator for that as well.

J: Well thank you so much for talking to me, Sienna, it’s been wonderful getting to know you better.

S: Thank you, for having me!

You can catch more stories from our team every month on our Crisis Line Newsletter or on our blog at www.calyouth.org/blogs/stories. If you’re a youth in crisis or know a youth who can utilize our line, you can call or text 800 843-5200 and speak to one of our counselors. Our free Crisis Line is available to youth, families, and youth allies, 24/7 across the state of California.

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