Because every child
MEET OUR VOLUNTEERS
My journey with CASA began in November, 2011 when I decided to volunteer as an advocate. To my surprise and to my pleasure, volunteering for CASA exceeded my expectations. For starters, the organization thoroughly trains their advocates to deal with the barriers in the legal system as well as any emotional blocks an advocate might experience. This training is crucial for us advocates to provide the best service for the children we are assigned to help.
I have been assigned to many cases to help neglected, and abused children find suitable and loving homes. One particular case that has helped me understand the importance of my role as an advocate is Yadira’s case. I was assigned to her case to help her transition from foster care to becoming an independent person. At nineteen, Yadira has had to deal with many obstacles. She has been in foster care since she was six years old, navigating the system from foster home to foster home. She had to drop out of school, had a son when she was still a teenager, struggles with depression, and has never had a job before.
At first, I was nervous to work with Yadira because I thought she might not cooperate with her case. However, I was amazed when she demonstrated how proactive she was in helping to obtain the necessary paperwork to secure housing for her and her son. Her case was further complicated because her son was also in the foster care system, but she did everything required of her to get him back. One year has passed since I was first assigned to Yadira’s case, and although she is still exploring job options and long-term educational goals, she now has a home of her own and is happy to provide her son with a stable foundation. Working with Yadira has taught me so many things. She is a strong-minded individual who continues to persevere despite depression and other obstacles.
To me, the role of a CASA advocate extends far beyond volunteering a certain number of hours a week. There is a level of commitment that is required to provide children with the best possible outcome, and that often comes in the form of hard work, team work, creative solutions, youth development skills, and determination. The result for all these efforts, however, is often invaluable, especially for the children.
CASA NYC48 Wall Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10005 Phone: 212.334.4010