Meet the National Runaway Safeline’s (NRS) March 2018, volunteer of the month, Katherine Pamina, and learn why she chooses to serve youth in crisis at NRS.

Crisis Volunteer Katherine Pamina Tell us a fun fact about yourself. I have recently started learning how to ferment foods. So far I’ve made yogurt and sauerkraut. I would like to try making kombucha next but am afraid of exploding bottles. I’m open to any tips or suggestions for other things to make 🙂

How did you first get involved with NRS? A friend of mine started volunteering with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. As she was telling me about it, I thought about how in times of crisis, it had meant the world to me that I had someone to talk things out with and how terrifying it would have been to be alone in those times. I didn’t want anyone to go through a crisis alone. So I looked up hotlines near me and found NRS.

Why do you choose to keep coming back to work as a youth crisis volunteer?

The smart, sassy, and compassionate supervisors and volunteers as well as the feeling I get when someone’s stress levels decrease even just a little after spending some time with us.

What have you gained from your experience? The importance of birth control.

Can you tell us about a call that stuck with you? I was chatting with a kid who was dealing with abandonment and Crisis Hotline Volunteer Katherine Paminabeing hurt by the people whom she trusted to love and care for her. I could feel how much she was hurting, especially since I had dealt with some of the same things in my own life. We had a long talk and I’m glad I was able to tell her some of the things I wish someone had told me–like how alcoholism may change a loved one, but it does not invalidate the memories that you share. It felt like the conversation was healing for both of us, and in the end, I was so happy to hear her say she wanted to spend her life helping others, “just like you do.”

NRS Volunteer of the Month Katherine Pamina | March 2018Any last thoughts? I am trying to spend more of my life in service of others, and the awesomely hardworking and caring people I meet here inspire me to keep working toward this goal. Thanks for spending your time helping youth navigate through times of crisis and empowering them to do what they can for themselves.

If you are in the Chicago area and interested in becoming a youth crisis services volunteer at NRS, email Jamin Draves at


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