Sheree Shirley was recently named the new Raft Hotline Facilitator. Originally from Winchester, Virginia, Sheree moved to Blacksburg in 2011 to attend Virginia Tech where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

During her senior year, Sheree began volunteering with Raft and fell in love with the hotline. She continued volunteering after graduation as she began her first official job at NRVCS as a direct service provider at New Horizons, and then moving over to the PACT Team. After meeting the hour requirements to become a Qualified Mental Health Professional, she returned to working full-time at New Horizons as a Community Support Professional.

In 2016, Sheree took a step back from volunteering with the hotline when she decided to begin the path towards getting her Master’s Degree in mental health counseling, which she is still in the process of completing. However, while she was at New Horizons, she remained actively involved with the hotline when the lines would be transferred to New Horizons, and became known as the “Raft Guru” by her co-workers to train new employees on hotline procedures.

“When I saw the opening for the Hotline Facilitator job, it felt like the perfect opportunity for me to start a new journey and learn a new set of skills,” says Sheree.

“I am excited to have this role with the hotline,” she continues. “I feel I learned a lot while volunteering under the leadership of Stephanie Bryson, as well as the two managers before her, Holly Smith and Rebecca Bryce.”

“I look forward to being able to share my experiences in the agency with the volunteers to help them gain a better understanding of the many roles within the agency,” Sheree adds. “My biggest goal for this position is to increase community outreach and involvement, as I would love to spread the word about the great resource of Raft and the many services that the community can gain through NRVCS.”