Volunteer Voice

Introducing Jasmine

December 1, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off

The very first thing I learned about Jamilah was that she had asked for a CASA. She said that she was hard to get to know, but it sounded like she wanted to be known, to be supported. She said she was creative and loved art. Wow! So many things popped into my head immediately.  A 12 year old girl asking for a CASA! How did she even know what a CASA was? How brave and beautiful to ask for something she wanted, especially in the face of being caught up in a system since the age of 7 that

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Introducing Beth

October 3, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off

I told Alice I was going to write about being her CASA, and I asked her what I should highlight about our relationship and what we do together.  She didn’t discuss our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, holding her up while roller skating for her 18th birthday, watching seals in Santa Cruz, cheering for her at her high school graduation, or crying while watching The Fault in Our Stars.  She said her favorite part is laughing together in the car.  She wanted me to talk about our inside jokes.  (I could try, but as all good inside jokes, you

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Introducing Renee

July 29, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off

When I think about the two different youths I’ve been matched with, I’m tempted to say they are completely different. Yet what they have in common is that they are both two of the kindest souls I’ve been lucky enough to know. I’m going to focus on my first experience here. Reading the files to choose a youth was harder and easier than I expected. It was easier in that I immediately knew which youth was meant for me. It was harder because, as one classmate put it, “when you choose one, you’re not choosing the others.” Absorbing the history of

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Introducing Cate

July 1, 2014  |  Volunteer Voice  |  Comments Off

I became a CASA after taking a job related to foster care policy.  I had previously done direct-practice social work, so I had an idea of how important CASAs could be. I thought becoming a CASA would help me stay connected to the heart of social work, even while working in a policy office. After CASA training I was matched with Mariah, who at age ten had been in the system most of her life, yet was generally described as a typical, well-adjusted, if a bit nerdy, kid. She loved school, her favorite subject was math, she had been the

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