Fun Fact (something people may not know already about you):
I worked as a visual artist, meditation teacher, and Tarot card reader for five years before I decided to pursue a counseling degree.
How did you first become involved with NRS?
I wanted to get some time in the field before my internship got cracking. My shifts have been a high point of my week ever since I started a year ago.
What keeps you coming back?
Everything about it keeps me coming back. My coworkers are all trying to make the world a better place. I like being able to help people in their hour of need.
What have you learned while volunteering?
“If I let myself really understand another person, I might be changed by that understanding. And we all fear change. So… it is not an easy thing to permit oneself to understand an individual.”
Give us a story from your experience that stuck with you:
There’s no telling who I might connect with on a shift. I might take a call from a teenager who just got kicked out with no money on their 18th birthday, followed by a 13 year old who just needs to figure out what to do with themselves until school starts back up again. They all need to be heard, and we can do that for them. There were times growing up when having this kind of resource would have meant a lot to me. It is an honor to be there for those who need it now.
Open Mic Moment (this is your chance to say to all volunteers whatever you would like):
Breathe, close your eyes, and look within. Recognize your strengths so you can cultivate them. Embrace your imperfections, your challenges and your flaws. See yourself without blinders. Having seen yourself for who you are, I hope you can love yourself as completely and as joyously as Lizzo loves herself. You deserve it. We all deserve it.
If you are in the Chicago area and interested in becoming a crisis line volunteer at NRS, please reach out to Jamin Draves, Volunteer Coordinator, at JDraves@1800RUNAWAY.org or 773-289-1726 with any questions.