Gianna has been part of the NRS family since beginning training back in September of 2019! She was among the first volunteers to return when NRS went fully remote, and she’s been dedicated to her Thursday evening spot since. She has occasionally taken other shifts, but she’s been planted there since November 2020! Wow! Her incredible consistency and longevity as a volunteer makes her an obvious candidate for highlight and praise. We’re excited to honor her for (over) 256 hours of service to youth in crisis and 264 contact records in our database. If you’re doing the math, she’s pretty much helped a youth every hour she’s volunteered. That’s incredible! Congrats Gianna!
We sat down and asked her a few questions:
NRS: What made you decide to volunteer with NRS?
Gianna: I actually saw the NRS Crisis Center across the street from my eye doctor a few years ago and decided one day to come in and get more information (which I believe was from you Jamin around 4-5 years ago!). Then in 2019 I was looking into possible volunteer options for graduate school and came back for an interview (also with you!) and although my career plans have changed, I’ve stayed with NRS ever since.
NRS: What keeps you coming back to volunteer week after week?
Gianna: I’ve stayed volunteering at NRS for the past few years because I truly enjoy it. Not only that, but the NRS team is so incredibly friendly, open and supportive. NRS feels like one big family, we’re always here for one another.
NRS: Tell us something you’ve learned from your experiences volunteering with us?
Gianna: Volunteering for NRS has had a huge impact on my life. On a micro level I’ve become a better conversationalist, have become more patient and understanding, and have used the tools I’ve learned in training to help my friends and family with difficult situations and in my own personal life on many occasions. On a macro level volunteering has allowed me to interact with individuals from all around the country. My perspective on life and my worldview have been changed for the better.
NRS: Give us a Fun Fact about yourself that you don’t think someone would be able to guess just by meeting you.
Gianna: One thing some people wouldn’t expect from me is my fierce love of travel, even by myself! I’ve backpacked solo in Europe for a few months and even bungee-jumped solo in Canada. I’m also a big Blackhawks fan! I once traveled to the Czech Republic just to see the season opening game for the Blackhawks. I try to plan at least one big trip every year with my mom, who is my favorite travel partner and best friend.
NRS: What would you say to someone who was thinking of volunteering with NRS?
Gianna: I’d say you won’t regret volunteering with NRS! Those two hours a week of time is worth it when you can make such a huge impact supporting youth all around the country. No matter if you volunteer for 6 months or 6 years, each shift you have the opportunity of making a difference in someone’s life.
Learn more about National Runaway Safeline’s volunteer opportunities here.