Learn about our Volunteers 03: Meet John

Published on March 23, 2020

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 and share our discussion on our Crisis Line blog and newsletter.  Each conversation is unique and is conducted with a real member of our staff and/or volunteer team. Today I was joined by John who’s been with the Crisis Line for a year and a half.

Jason: So this is an interview to let other people know more about the folks who are involved with the crisis line.

John: Oh, that’s great!

Jason: Yeah! so when did you get involved with the Crisis Line?

John: Uh, it was a couple of semesters before I graduated from Sacramento State, so it was about mid-last year.  I had been talking to a friend of mine who worked for the Crisis Line, and I was looking for different opportunities to bolster my experience, my skills, because I’m a psychology student and my future goals is in Marriage and Family Therapy. I already worked and volunteered extensively with youth and young kids, but I was looking for something different. I’d already worked with the government for 10 years so I’m familiar with that. I linked up with Logan (our volunteer coordinator) and have been here ever since.

Jason: Cool, so what attracted you to helping out youth in crisis?

John: I have three kids of my own. Of various ages, they’re all about mid to late teens now. Kids are really close to my heart, I love kids. In my volunteering, I worked with elementary to junior high students delivering social-emotional skill lessons, and through the course of that work I ended up getting mental health first aid responder trained and began to become more cognizant that not everyone’s experience is the same, and some students-some children-some young people- experience a lot of the same challenges and hardships that adults do, and when I started volunteering at the call center that became apparent to me and really hit home in a lot of different ways.  I’ve been able to take some of the lessons learned here from helping people on the call line and from working with my colleagues and strengthen my desire to work with and help youth in crisis and in trauma.  So it really stemmed from my kids and my studies in psychology.

Jason: Nice, so what has been your proudest moment so far…

John: Here? At the Crisis Line?

Jason: Yeah! because I know outside of the Crisis Line you probably have a million proud moments, most of them involving your family, or your past volunteer work…

John: Yeah! haha, I think it’s hard for me to point out one specific moment, but the fulfillment that comes from nearing the end of a conversation with someone on the phone…and having help them traverse that path, they themselves have chosen (and they may have not even realized it) and for them to just say ‘thank you, thank you for listening, thank you for helping me to see clearer on what I need to do or where I need to go’ or ‘I feel better’ That. Is. It’s hard to put into words how valuable that is and how fulfilling that is.

Jason: Wow, that was really nice, John that was perfect.

John: Oh, thanks!

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’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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