My name is Priscilla, and I am a member of the Voices for Children Real Word panel. This National Volunteer Week, I’m reminded of how grateful I am for my CASA, Denise.
When I first entered foster care at the age of five, I remember feeling mixed emotions. I was scared to be taken from my family, but also relieved that I would be going to a safe place. My time in the foster care system had its share of challenges, but around the age of 16 when I was introduced to my CASA, a world of opportunities started opening up for me.
“Without my CASA’s support, I don’t know what kind of situation I might be in today.” –Priscilla, Student & Real Word Member
When Denise first met me, I was living at a group home. Around that time, I was interested in transferring to a different school to gain a better sense of normalcy. With my CASA’s help, I was able to make the change. Her advocacy really impacted my academic success.
Besides education, Denise offered me something that I really needed at the time—emotional support. I sometimes experience anxiety or anger due to my past. My CASA was the first person to listen to me and take everything I said at face value without searching for hidden meanings. She taught me to be more understanding, and how to calm myself down by viewing situations from other perspectives.
One of the best memories I have of my CASA was during an outing together. She picked me up in her car and had the idea of trying to find the beach without using a GPS. I got to choose which roads and turns we would take. The whole trip was a lot of fun. Miraculously, we did end up finding the beach, and even grabbed some food on the way!
Without my CASA’s support, I don’t know what kind of situation I might be in today. CASA Denise made a world of difference for me, and I know there are many equally dedicated volunteers impacting other children in big and small ways. I see CASAs who attend Real Word panels and ask questions, and it makes me happy because I know they are genuinely interested in finding ways to serve their CASA child better.
To all CASAs, thank you for your commitment, your consistency, and above all, your care for supporting children who would not have a voice without you. We truly appreciate all that you do!
Student & Real Word Member