Volunteer of the Month: February 2018

Published on February 14, 2018

Every month, the California Youth Crisis Line puts forward an exemplary volunteer to be named Volunteer of the Month, and the California Coalition for Youth highlights this amazing volunteer on all their channels! Below is the “virtual interview” between our Communications Coordinator, Jason Alviar, and February’s Volunteer o’ the Month, Katherine!

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering for about 8 months now.

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

I was volunteering at a mental health warm line and wanted to gain more experience in advocacy, so I did some research and found the CA youth crisis line on VolunteerMatch.org.

Why did you want to become a Counselor?

My future career goal is to get my masters in genetic counseling, so this counseling and advocacy experience is a great way to build on some of the skills I will need down the road. I also just enjoy being able to help others and volunteer my time to an organization that does so much good for the community.

What’s it like being a CYCL Volunteer Counselor?

At times it is challenging because each call is different, so the resources and needs of each caller are always changing, but overall it is very rewarding. Being able to leave my shift and feel like I have helped the callers is an amazing feeling and is why I enjoy this type of work.

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

The most challenging part of being a crisis counselor is the uncertainty of each call. Like I mentioned before, each person we talk to is going to be different from the next so assessing each caller and deciding how to best assist them is what I find most difficult. I like that each call better equips me for the next because every conversation is a learning experience.

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

I when I am not at the line I work full time for a Disability Law Firm assisting disabled individuals to fill out applications for social security disability. This work also allows me to help others and advocate for them through a really difficult process. When I’m not working or volunteering I am usually hanging out with friends and watching way too much Netflix.

What’s a surprising fact about you?

I don’t really have a go to fun fact about myself, but one thing that always surprises people is that I don’t like chocolate. My favorite “food” is hot sauce and I will put it on pretty much anything that I’m eating!

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