Volunteer Spotlight: Janella Parucha

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1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

I believe I started volunteering for W.O.M.A.N., Inc. in October of 2013.

2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?

I used to work for the San Francisco Health Department as a Research Assistant. I would administer HIV tests and provide HIV counseling. Many of the people I worked with have experienced domestic violence. It always struck me how resilient survivors of domestic violence are, especially when they are part of a supportive community. So I sought out opportunities that would allow me to provide support to survivors. I initially wanted to volunteer as a peer counselor because I have always been naturally drawn to helping people in that way.

3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?

I originally started out wanting to be a peer counselor. But due to time constraints, I was not able to attend the trainings. So I was referred to Mariya because they needed more volunteers to join the Social Media team. I have been part of the Social Media team for a little over 6 months now.

4) How has your involvement impacted your life?

I never viewed social media as a tool for mental health. So being a Social Media intern has really opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that social media can provide. We are living in a world of technology, were information can be spread in the blink of an eye. Social Media can be used as a tool for social justice, to advocate for survivors, and to promote W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s message to the world. I see social media in different light and am grateful for the opportunity to promote W.O.M.A.N., Inc.’s amazing services.

5) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?

I think it’s always important to be conscious of your body and how you are feeling. If you are feeling emotionally and physically burnt out, it’s time to take a break. In fact, don’t wait don’t wait till you’re burnt out to take some “me time”.  Get in the habit of taking a few minutes of “me time” a day. We deserve it. 

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