Nominees for Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of the Month are typically submitted by Advocacy Supervisors, volunteer support staff members at Voices for Children (VFC). This month, the winning nomination came from a former youth in foster care. In her moving letter, “Felicia” shared the profound impact CASA Catie has had in her life.
When Catie was first assigned to Felicia’s case, the teen was struggling with homelessness, substance abuse, and an abusive partner. Felicia writes that she tried to push Catie away, but her CASA remained persistent and consistent.
I was going through a lot. I was in shock, angry, and felt alone. Catie is the only person who has been there even when I didn’t want her to be, but especially when I needed her to be. I had given up on myself again and so had everybody else – everybody but Catie that is…She really cares and never gave up on me, and that is what saved my life.
I’m not sure when, where or how, but one day I had just decided I’d had enough and if it was the last thing I did, I would get my life together…If I hadn’t had [Catie’s] voice in my ear, constantly emailing me and calling me, telling me I was strong, that I deserved better, that I was better than this, then I would’ve never EVER thought that I deserved anything or was capable of anything.
Catie was and still is my number one cheerleader, and I cannot even find the words to explain the appreciation I have for that woman. I have never had someone believe in me the way she does, and I am going to make her a very proud CASA one day. I want her to know her efforts were not in vain. She is a true superhero, a truly kind person with a big heart (and man, is she stubborn!)
Today, Felicia lives in safe, stable housing, has an internship, and even volunteers to help at-risk youth. She credits much of her success to the support of CASA Catie.
Volunteer Name: Catie F.
County: San Diego
Became a CASA: 2019
Favorite thing about being a CASA: “My favorite thing about being a CASA is the way it’s changed me – how it opened my heart in ways I never expected and how it has challenged me, taught me, and supported me in my growth. When I found VFC, I was looking for an organization where I could make a direct and long-term impact, but I didn’t realize the impact it would have on me. Walking alongside my case youth during both extremely challenging and exciting times, witnessing their wisdom, heart, and resilience, has been an honor and a transformational relationship in my life.”
You, too, can make a difference in the life of youth in foster care. Learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer.