I had lost hope.
Then I met my CASA Kathy.
I entered the child welfare system as a girl in crisis. I had low self-esteem and no perceived value – I thought everyone looked at me like I was a bad kid. They said I just needed to behave and things would get better. But I felt like no one was listening. I had lost all faith in adults. I had lost hope.
Then Kathy came into my life. As my CASA volunteer, she listened with compassion and offered advice that I would remember for years after she was gone. She believed in me. For the first time in my life, someone made me feel hopeful about my future. Kathy gave me a voice I was not able to give myself.
Why did Kathy take time away from her own family to help a troubled girl? Because she believed children deserved to be heard. She wanted children to know they are important to this world and that their current situation did not have to determine their future. Kathy was more than just my advocate in court, she was my friend. For that, I am thankful.
I’m a CASA success story.
It took some time, but because Kathy continually pushed for the services my family needed, my parents and I reconciled and we now have a wonderful relationship.
Today, I’m a mother of four happy, healthy children and the wife of a loving and supportive husband. When I had the opportunity to join the CASA family, I couldn’t resist. I’m now the volunteer recruiter for CASA of Shawnee County. I’m honored to give back to the organization that helped me during a time of great need.
CASA of Shawnee County makes that kind of hope possible every day by recruiting, training and supporting over 60 court-appointed special advocates, like Kathy, who stand strong for more than 200 local children in foster care.
It’s my hope that one day all children in need will have an advocate who will stand with them, speak up for them and help them see their worth so they can become the amazing people they’re meant to be.