Learn About Our Volunteers 02: Olivia

Published on February 19, 2020

For those of you who don’t know, my name is Jason and I am a staff member at the California Youth Crisis Line. Twice a month I will be interviewing a different member of our crisis line team to share their story with the world.  Each conversation is unique and is conducted with a real member of our staff and/or volunteer team. Today I was joined by Olivia who’s been with the Crisis Line for almost a year!

Jason: Thank you for joining me today.

Olivia: Glad to help you out with this [project].



J: I’m looking forward to getting to know more about you, and to learn about your time with us.  So, when did you first get involved with the Crisis Line?

O: I went through the training last year (2018) in January.

J: How are you enjoying it?

O: I love it, at first it was a little intimidating, but as time went by I’ve gotten more comfortable and now I’m starting to enjoy it more and more.

J: That’s wonderful to hear, so what attracted you to helping youth in crisis?

O: Well I feel very passionate for kids, and I want to work with kids when I get older. I thought this [California Youth Crisis Line] would be a great way to get my foot in the door and get experience talking to kids and helping kids, especially a lot of them [callers] are in school and that’s where I want to be. I think that hearing their stories will help me in my career when I get older.

J: What are you hoping to do for a career?

O: I want to be a school psychologist/counselor.

J: Very cool! Well you’ve been here for about 11 months?

O: Give or take, 11 months or so.

J: Yeah! So what’s been your proudest moment so far with us at the Crisis Line?

O: I feel the most proud when someone on a call says, ‘you really helped me, thank you a lot’ It feels really good to know that you helped someone and you made their day.

J: Very nice.

O: I also feel really proud about being the person who updates the board [In the Crisis Line]

J: [laughs] That’s Awesome! So you get to do the designs and stuff on the board?

O: Yeah! I get to update the calendar and the birthday board.

J: I couldn’t do that, my handwriting is awful, So do you have a story or anecdote about being a volunteer here that’s moved you or is the most memorable?

O: I preface this with: It’s not easy to do, it’s not easy to talk or know what to say, and what helped me through all of those times is knowing that I had support and knowing that we don’t have all the answers. But it was about 3 months in I finally was like ‘why was this not clicking’ until one day it clicked and I became more comfortable here.

J: I’m glad that you were able to make it work and feel comfortable, do you remember the moment everything clicked?

O: Honestly it was just one of the staff, Megan, she just said something to me and I was like, ‘wow, I don’t know why that took so long for me to click’.

J: Do you remember what she told you?

O: When I was first starting out, I was too scared to ask callers ‘what’s going on’ directly, and I would beat around the bush and feel like the calls were going nowhere. One day while I was on a call, Megan came up to me and said, ‘just ask. If someone says they’re sad, just ask them what they’re feeling sad about’ And it worked and every call after that just got easier.

J: That’s a great story! It’s awesome that you were able to break away from that discomfort and pick up a new communication skill. Well, thank you so much for talking with me today, I really enjoyed getting to know more about you.

O: 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. If you are interested in volunteering with us, and are looking to learn new communication skills, or help youth, you can visit www.calyouth.org/cyclvolunteer. 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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