“All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and somebody who believes in them.”
This quote by NBA great Magic Johnson is one that resonates with a lot of our Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to transform a child’s life.
When CASA Diane was first matched with “Ryan,” the 17-year-old was struggling in many aspects of his life. He had low attendance and poor grades at school, no close friends, and a difficult relationship with his father. Ryan, who is on the autism spectrum, had turned down services that would have helped him with future placement options and job training. He was also at risk of losing his current housing.
Over the past two years, CASA Diane has helped Ryan navigate each and every one of these issues. She developed relationships with other professionals on the case and made countless phone calls to ensure the teen had all the resources he needed. Perhaps most importantly, she helped Ryan change the way he felt about himself. After receiving his report card, CASA Diane took Ryan out for a special dinner to celebrate his hard work to improve his grades. This simple gesture meant the world to him.
“He thanked me for seeing something good in him. He understood that even this small achievement of his was something I saw as worthy of a celebration,” she shared.
Today, Ryan is passing all his classes and on track to graduate this summer. He has a stable living situation and finally agreed to be assessed to receive services. He made good friends with whom he spent the holidays and even had two successful visits with his dad.
“If you keep showing them how much you believe in them, they can learn to believe in themselves. I am so proud of my kiddo right now,” CASA Diane beamed.
CASA Diane was the positive and consistent presence Ryan needed as he transitions into adulthood, and we are excited to honor her as our CASA of the Month!
Volunteer: Diane R.
County: San Diego
Became a CASA: 2017
Advice for new CASAs: “Never underestimate the powerful impact your words of encouragement can mean to your kiddo. Often times they have never received this kind of positivity in their life.”
You, too, can make a difference in the life of youth in foster care. Learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer.
Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality