Scarleteen Superstars: Joey, Karyn, Alice and Sarah
And here's the second part of our volunteer profiles (part one is here) so all of you can better get to know some of the people we're so lucky to have on Team Scarleteen!
Where do you live? Melbourne, Australia
What year did you first find Scarleteen? 2004
What made you want to volunteer? I went through high school and the first couple years of university completely clueless about pretty much everything to do with sex and relationships. When I finally found Scarleteen and had my own questions answered so brilliantly, with so much information and so much obvious care, I knew I had to help out.
Biggest personal sexual epiphany (so far)? Learning to say "no", without any guilt, without feeling I'm letting a partner down, without second-guessing myself.
Best thing you ever learned from a Scarleteen user/users: That I can learn from them, really - I'm not always going to be the "expert". When I first started volunteering, I was so worried that it meant I'd have to know *everything* all of a sudden, but I figured out pretty quickly that I will always be learning something new here, and all of our users have a lot of knowledge to offer.
Favorite book: It's so tough to pick just one, but "A Wrinkle in Time" has always been near the top of the list. That, or anything by Terry Pratchett.
Favorite film: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
One major life goal: To find a place that feels like home, and get to stay there for a good long time.
If you could sum up what you want to give to users here in your work at Scarleteen, what would that be? I want to help them be comfortable with who they are, to know that life is almost always best when you're being exactly who you are and not someone else's idea of who you should be.
Where do you live? Cologne, Germany
What year did you first find Scarleteen? 2005
What made you want to volunteer? I wanted to spread the joy, basically. Scarleteen opened up all of these doors to me that I hadn't even been aware of previously, and I felt that everyone should have those opportunities. (It's part of why I love to teach, in general: I get super excited about learning new things, and I love the look on someone's face when they just learned something new that is completely changing their world view in a positive way. Can't beat that.)
Biggest personal sexual epiphany (so far)? That it's okay if I can't pin down my sexual orientation for more than a day at a time, and that it's okay if I love and want to be with more than one person. We all have, and get to have, our own authentic approach to sexuality, and they're all equally valid.
Best thing you ever learned from a Scarleteen user/users: I've been around for so long and been part of so many conversations that it is hard to pick out just one. But I'll keep thinking, maybe something comes to mind!
Favorite book: The book that single-handedly saved my life when I was 16 is Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. I'm also a big fan of the Harry Potter books and To Kill a Mockingbird, and lots of trashy vampire novels.
Favorite film: I have to watch Hedwig and the Angry Inch about once a week. I also like Out of Africa for when I'm feeling romantic, and My Girl for moments of childhood nostalgia.
One major life goal: To be able to live my life just the way I want it, unapologetic.
If you could sum up what you want to give to users here in your work at Scarleteen, what would that be? I want to give them the sense that they're okay, that there is nothing wrong with their wants or desires, and that they deserve to be respected.
Where do you live? Seattle
What year did you first find Scarleteen? 2002
What made you want to volunteer? A combination of being a sex ed nerd and a passion for helping people.
Biggest personal sexual epiphany (so far)? To relax and enjoy - it's supposed to be fun and feel good!
Best thing you ever learned from a Scarleteen user/users: The best thing I've learned from Scarleeen users is the importance of going through the process of learning what you like and don't like sexually (orientation, experimenting with activities, etc).
Favorite book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
Favorite film: Once.
One major life goal: To figure out what awesome career I want to have before I have to major in it.
If you could sum up what you want to give to users here in your work at Scarleteen, what would that be? It would be that while no one has ALL of the answers (except maybe Heather [editor's note: I don't have them either! - HC]), we can work together as a community to keep everyone happy, healthy and full of real knowledge.
Where do you live? Kentucky
What year did you first find Scarleteen? 2000
What made you want to volunteer? While I understood the mechanics, I was pretty clueless about relationships when I came out of high school. The more I learned at Scarleteen, the more committed I became to the mission of helping others also learn more about healthy relationships and sexuality.
Biggest personal sexual epiphany (so far)? That condoms are awesome.
Best thing you ever learned from a Scarleteen user/users: The best thing I've learned from ST users is about how important it is to listen. Learning from others, communicating with partners, friends and others all start with listening.
Favorite book: Just about anything sci-fi/fantasy.
Favorite film: I love musicals. It's hard to pick just one favorite!
One major life goal: To do work that I love and feel is important.
If you could sum up what you want to give to users here in your work at Scarleteen, what would that be? I'm proud to be a part of a place that provides a safe space and honest information where everyone can share and learn from one another.