March 2024 Volunteer of the Month - National Runaway Safeline

National Runaway Safeline

March 2024 Volunteer of the Month

We’re excited to spotlight Nissa Petrewski, who has been voted as National Runaway Safeline’s Volunteer of the Month for March 2024. This is Nissa’s second time receiving this acknowledgement from the NRS Team, initially being celebrated in April of 2022.

Nissa’s was introduced to NRS at the Chicago Volunteer Expo hosted at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. She was immediately drawn to the details of the organization’s training and preparation for volunteers. Inspired, she decided to complete training and take an active role on NRS’s front lines.

What fuels Nissa’s commitment and enthusiasm for volunteering week after week is the transformative experience it offers. Volunteering provides her with a sense of purpose, and broadens her perspective, allowing her to step outside her own world and connect deeply with others, particularly during challenging times such as the pandemic.

One of the standout aspects for Nissa in her volunteer journey has been the supportive community she’s found within NRS. She values the camaraderie among supervisors and fellow volunteers, finding solace in the collective spirit that celebrates each individual’s efforts. These connections not only lighten the emotional toll of the work they do but also enrich the overall volunteer experience with shared moments of levity and understanding.

Through her involvement with NRS, Nissa has embraced and honed several invaluable life skills. Among the most rewarding is an increased threshold for patience, learning to give individuals the time and space they need to articulate their feelings and challenges fully. Her commitment to active listening has taught her the importance of providing a non-judgmental and empathetic ear, allowing callers to explore their thoughts and feelings freely. Nissa emphasizes that true support often lies in creating a safe and open space where individuals can express themselves without fear of judgment or unsolicited advice.

In her personal life, Nissa has a zest for travel and exploration. Recent she has enjoyed visiting her sister in Long Beach, CA, though her all-time favorite trip was to Perth, Australia for a study-abroad program. While she has a soft spot for beach destinations, Nissa finds comfort and joy in the crisp Chicago winter. She relishes her morning walks in the cold, which invigorate her senses and set a positive tone for the day ahead. A self-described food aficionado, Nissa’s culinary preferences lean towards Indian cuisine, reflecting her appreciation for rich flavors and diverse culinary traditions.

When it comes to offering advice for aspiring NRS volunteers, she encourages newcomers to approach each conversation with empathy, recognizing that most callers are seeking a listening ear rather than immediate solutions to their problems. Nissa believes that volunteering with NRS offers a unique opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations, where the focus is on sharing “everyday moments” and helping individuals navigate their challenges at their own pace.

Nissa’s ongoing dedication, compassionate approach, and unwavering commitment to making a positive impact exemplify the spirit of volunteerism. Her contributions to NRS not only benefit the organization but also inspire others to engage actively and empathetically with their communities. We are immensely grateful for Nissa’s continued commitment and look forward to celebrating her future achievements with NRS.

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