Veronica Pahomova, staff writer
Teen Line: a confidential telephone helpline that has been on the run since 1980.
For 34 years, a group of specially trained individuals have been answering phone calls from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. in attempt to give teens a metaphorical shoulder to lean on.
The hotline receives about 10,000 calls, texts and emails each year, with more than 38,000 attending their outreaches to schools and community groups.
“Teen Line is a hotline where teens can talk anonymously to other teens about anything they’re having problems with, from relationship issues to suicide. It’s a safe place,” sophomore trainee Jessica Beroukhim said.
As stated on the Teen Line website, “the Teen Line volunteers who answer the calls, emails and texts are Southern California teenagers who have been specially trained. They won’t judge you or give advice – their job is to listen to your feelings and help you to clarify your concerns, define the options available to you, and help you make positive decisions.”
Surprisingly, those teens aren’t superheroes. They’re all just normal teenages, some of which can actually be found rushing through the halls of Beverly during a passing period, struggling to get to their next class on time.
Beroukhim is one of the many Beverly students that play an active role in Teen Line. Though she spends hours listening to conflicts and giving worthy advice, she’s well aware that it’s for a good cause.
“I think it’s a great that Teen Line exists because there aren’t that many other places where teens can really feel safe to talk about what’s going on with them. In the time that I’ve been working at Teen Line, I’ve seen that it definitely makes a difference for the people who contact us,” Beroukhim said.
Most helpers from all over share Beroukhim’s outlook and experience. Andy Boblow, a sophomore who attends Windward, is also a high school student who is involved in Teen Line.
“It feels great. At the moment, I’m only answering emails and sort of answering texts,” Boblow said. “It’s nice to know that even though it’s an email, I’ve helped someone move in the right direction.”
To many who take a chunk of time out of their day to donate their effort to helping a teen in need, it proves to be an uplifting experience.
“Knowing that I have the power to make a positive influence on someone’s life is amazing. It’s a little scary at first, but the satisfaction of having such a direct impact and really helping people who need it more than makes up for that,” Beroukhim said.
If a teen is looking to join the cause, there are winter, spring and summer sessions that they can apply for.
“I want to join Teen Line because I want to help people,” sophomore Tamar Simone said. “I want to be there for people who don’t have anybody else to talk to.”
Having troubles or unwanted stress in life? Any teen can call Teen Line at 310-855-HOPE(4673) or even reach them over text by texting “TEEN” to 839863. And to make Beverly students’ lives slightly easier, the number is also on the back of the ID cards.