I realize it has been awhile since I’ve updated this website with relevant information, and I decided to give a few major life updates. If you read the whole post, I am honored.
First, personal updates…
The most exciting news I have for you is that I got engaged in March! I am so excited to further my journey with my partner, Terri, who is my muse, my love. Together, we started a little family and home here in Ithaca, NY.
Terri recently brought her dog from Texas up to live in New York with us, so we now have a little shaggy doggo (not the one in the header image) (our pup’s insta is ollie_landez) (sorry, I’m legally obliged to plug) running around the house after Felix the cat (insta: felix_banning), who, by the way, just turned four years old (the mommy in me is crying). The pets live with us in our adorable new one bedroom apartment, which we are enamored with. It’s a little rustic (ants unfortunately included), but overall a charming little place where Terri and I are able to enjoy some (amazing, wonderful, engaging) studio space. I’ve been spending way too much money decorating this cutesy little apartment.
Lastly in personal news, I got a new hairdo. It’s short and dark blue/black now. I look awesome.
Now for some of the professional stuffs that I know you’re all dying to hear about! 😉 I apologize that this section might sound like reading a resume or my Linkedin profile (ADD ME ON LINKEDIN. I LOVE LINKEDIN). The brief version of this section can be found here.
I am wrapping up my time as an Out for Health intern with my local Planned Parenthood after working there for the past six months. There, I helped primarily with the LGBT Youth Group. Our LGBT Youth Groups offer a supportive, empowering environment for LGBT youth to express themselves. Our meetings provide a safe, educational, and super fun place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied youth. Weekly meetings provide an accepting, judgement-free space for youth to ask questions, make new friends, and share their ideas. The group hosts movie nights, creates art projects, has discussions and queer guest speakers, plays (lots of) games (Mario Kart), occasional field trips, and much more.
Second, I am closing in on my time with Crisis Text Line as a Spike Captain and a Youth Advisory Council member. I will continue to work closely with the organization as a volunteer and an (sporadically needed) part-time Coaching Assistant. As a Spike Captain, I was responsible for being a mentor, a cheerleader and a peer advocate for fellow Crisis Counselors. I was selected for Friday Spike Captain out of a large pool of applicants, and worked overnight every friday. During my shift, I monitored the queue health for Crisis Text Line’s platform and when a “spike” (influx of texters) occurs, I am called to encourage the 500+ Crisis Counselors that I manage to show up to tackle the long wait list. During this crazy time, I am their go-to person with questions about their conversations, and their light at the end of the tunnel when things get tough. This was a six month position that I am honored to have experienced.
As a member of the Youth Advisory Council, I was a part of a group of young people (age 18-25) who are Crisis Counselors with Crisis Text Line. I worked with other Crisis Counselors across the nation to be “eyes and ears on the ground,” giving the organization the scoop on how they should get word out about our service and how we can recruit their friends and peers to volunteer with us. (PLUG!: Message me if you want to know more about how you can be a crisis counselor!)
In addition to working with Planned Parenthood and Crisis Text Line, I have been working diligently at Starbucks. We recently had our diversity and bias training, which was a wonderful first in an installment of ongoing trainings to be built into our curriculum over the twelve months. I had the awesome opportunity to discuss some deeply personal topics with my fellow partners, and am eager to see what the company has in store for us.
LAST THING FOR PROFESSIONAL UPDATES. I’m still writing the book.
SPRING UPDATES DONE! Onto summer plans!
I’ve already started my internship with The Advocacy Center of Tompkins County, and it’s been a blast. I’m working closely with the Community Engagement Specialist to revise the center’s Volunteer Hotline Training Manual, since that is my area of focus due to my extensive crisis counseling experience and educational background.
On Tuesday, I will begin my internship with Family and Children’s Services of Ithaca as a Youth Services Intern, where I will be helping to facilitate groups and getting to know some super cool youths with in the Dispositional Alternatives Program. Feel free to read more information about what that program is on my Linkedin profile- it’s an interesting and much needed program here in Tompkins County. What’s most exciting to me about this internship is that it’s direct experience with youth services and a great way for me to learn how to better communicate with people of different backgrounds as me. This internship also has to ~potential~ to carry into the fall/spring semester so wish me with that one!
I am eager to see the impact I will make on these organizations, and look forward to an awesome summer. I will be balancing two summer classes (Personal Relationships and Human Development!! WOOT!), two internships, and full-ish/kinda-part-time work at Starbucks as well. Here’s to a challenging and rewarding summer “vacation!”
Phew! Thanks for sticking with me. If you’re still reading, I appreciate you. If you skipped to this part and are going to like the post as if you’ve read the whole thing, that’s totally fine, I’ll have absolutely no idea you did that. Just comment something generic like “Sounds awesome,” or “Congrats!” and it’ll be fine for us both. 🙂
ALL THIS BEING SAID. Since a fall internship with Family and Children’s is in no way a guarantee, I’m on the lookout for potential opportunities for fall internships in family/youth services in Ithaca area. If you know of any cool places to start looking, let me know. Any help is appreciated!
PHOTOS (if you’re really too lazy to read)!