With no reliable adults in his life, Mason* entered foster care at age 15. It was a tumultuous time; the teen lived in four different placements in the span of just six months. Then, Mason was matched with Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer Art.
CASA Art did not waste any time getting to know Mason. Art was consistent, persistent, and present in every way possible when it came to Mason’s welfare. He attended child and family team (CFT) meetings, was inquisitive with Mason’s teachers, and faithfully visited Mason week after week.
It wasn’t long before the two established a close bond. They raced Go Karts, explored San Diego, and shared common interests, such as cars and sports. Art, who was a collegiate basketball player himself, encouraged and supported Mason to find an outlet in athletics. Mason was reluctant because he has a visual impairment that makes playing the sports he loves so much more challenging. With some out-of-the-box thinking and encouragement from his CASA, Mason applied to be team manager for his school’s basketball team. Mason says he now loves doing this job more than anything.
Mason is approaching 18, and he and CASA Art are working together on plans for his future. Mason once wondered if he’d even finish high school; now, he has dreams of going to college. He also plans to enroll in extended foster care (EFC) so he can continue to have access to vital services. Mason’s journey from lost teen to aspiring college student was possible because of CASA Art’s unwavering support.
Volunteer Name: Art L.
County: San Diego
Became a CASA: 2020
Favorite part of being a CASA: “My favorite thing about being a CASA is that I get to have an opportunity to have a positive impact on a child’s life, to help them overcome any disadvantages they may face as a result of being a foster child, and to be a friend/advisor/quasi-parental figure they can rely on.”
You, too, can make a difference in the life of youth in foster care. Learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer.
*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality.