I started working at Teen Lifeline last fall so that I could get the fifty hours of service that my school requires for all Juniors to get over the course of a semester. I had gone into training pessimistically, and just wanting to get my fifty hours over with. After about a week, my mood towards Teen Lifeline changed DRAMATICALLY. I never expected the other teens and supervisors to be so friendly, welcoming, fun and just awesome in general. For me, coming into Teen Lifeline is one of the highlights of my week and no week seems complete unless I come in at least one of the days. Aside from being around such amazing people, the satisfaction that I gain from helping out other teens on the hot line is one of those difficult to describe feelings that just helps me get through the day knowing that in a fifteen minute call I probably saved someone's life. What makes Teen Lifeline so unique is that when teens call in, they feel very comfortable knowing that they are talking to teens around the same age as themselves who experience some of the same hardships in life. This allows callers to be much more open, and allows us at Teen Lifeline to establish a much stronger rapport and have a greater impact on the callers lives. After I had grown such respect and such a desire to contribute to Teen Lifeline, not only in the first semester of school did I complete the fifty hours necessary, but went on to log in over one hundred hours in training alone. I have been continuing to contribute service hours not to fulfill a requirement for school, but to fulfill the requirement for this amazing organization to continue its great work.
Teen LIfeline's mission is to provide a safe, confidential and crucial crisis service where teens help teens make healthy decisions, and they do exactly this. Though a relatively small organization, they have an incredibly big heart, and they have dedicated themselves to serving the state of Arizona for the past 26 years, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. In current times of economic difficulties, as resources are being cut left and right, the services they provide are more important than ever before. Suicide is a public health issue for Arizona and Teen Lifeline is a key player in statewide prevention efforts. I have personally worked closely with several key staff members at this organization, and know them to be personally committed, consummate professionals. They give their time to be involved and to lend expertise not only on the issue, but also to help build capacity of our statewide coalition. When funding was drastically cut at the statewide level, this organization stepped in to fill the void and to partner with hospitals to ensure individuals who were in need of crisis services would not fall through the cracks. They work closely with law enforcement, schools, and systems, providing training and support. They are an invaluable resource and voice for youth.
I have been volunteering at Teen Lifeline for a little over two years now. I heard about it through my sister who had been volunteering there for a couple years. She told me how incredible her experience had been and told me to join, however, I was a slightly reluctant because this isn't the type of thing I normally do. I could not have been more wrong and deciding to work here was honestly one of the best choices I have made in my life so far. I would say that teen lifeline helps two distinct groups of people. First, are the teenagers that call in after or during a crisis and second are the people that volunteer here. The people that call in are usually worried, lonely and scared. However, When they hang up the phone they have thoroughly dissected their problem and have a step by step way to deal with their problem. This help, although amazing on its own, is miniscule compared to the empowerment they feel to solve their own problems. The volunteers never tell them what to do, but instead, they use various skills in order to let the caller figure it out themselves. This allows them to use the healthy problem solving methods and coping skills they learned in all their future problems. Normally, you wouldn't expect an organization to help its volunteers as much as the people the organization is supporting, but the environment at the Teen Lifeline building is one of support and friendliness. Since all the volunteers are teenagers, we are going through many of the problems we hear from our callers. But when we come in to take calls, we have several people all here o listen to us and be there for us. I have always noticed that when I start a shift if I do not know somebody, by the end they are a good friend I can tell anything too. Teen Lifeline has made me a more well-rounded person and it has allowed me to personally help people that really need it. Without Teen Lifeline, my high school experience would have been much more difficult to deal with.
Review from Guidestar