Volunteer Spotlight: Ylisse Bess

For National Volunteer Week, we’re highlighting the incredible work of our volunteers. We’ll be showcasing short interviews with our volunteer grief workers to share their wisdom and express our gratitude for their commitment to supporting pandemic grievers. 

Name: Ylisse Bess
Age: 30
Location: Boston, MA
Profession: Chaplain

Why do you volunteer with COVID Grief Network (CGN)?
I want to show up for people in ways that work for them and CGN strives to make that possible. Young adults are able to say “I am Black, queer, spiritual, practice tarot and am a Libra, and I’d like to be accompanied by someone like me or not at all like me” and CGN will try to do that. And that’s something I can get behind.

What has supporting young adults in our network taught you?
The major shift during the pandemic to virtual accompaniment and spiritual/emotional support made me wonder if people could really feel cared for over the phone or a screen. But I’ve learned that accompaniment and care are expansive. Sometimes people just need someone to sit with them in the quiet of a zoom call and that’s enough.

Do you have a message for young adults in grief?
You’ve got people around the world ready to try to have your back in ways that work for you. I know, because I’m one of them!

What’s your preferred method of self-care?
Roller skating to 90’s R&B and cycling to a good audiobook.

Are you interested in volunteering with the COVID Grief Network? Learn more and apply here.