Learn More About Austin
Why did you become a CASA Advocate?
I am the primary caregiver for my three daughters — the bond between parent and child is unlike anything else. These parents and children with whom we work experience the same emotions. The children have done nothing to create their current environment; being an advocate means an opportunity to work toward a more desirable environment for all involved.
How do you balance volunteering with your career/personal life?
As a stay-at-home parent, I’m afforded a fair amount of free time (all of my children are in school); time that I can apply to the world outside my home. I have obligations to my family, but by becoming a CASA volunteer I assumed obligations to others. As a college professor once told me, “We all have time”.
What was a moment that you realized that you/CASAs do make a difference?
Whenever I am thanked for my efforts (whether from a child, parent, teacher, therapist, attorney, or any other involved party), I am reminded of why I chose to become a CASA volunteer. Each action, no matter its level of significance, is one that works toward achieving a higher goal. There is something monumental about that moment where you’re looked at not as an outsider, but as a partner in the journey.
What advice would you have for new CASAs?
Practice patience. You will encounter roadblocks but be on the lookout for open paths. Also, be open and honest; completely transparent. As volunteers there is no personal gain, but there is a collective gain by working together. Above all, listen. Many people, adults and children alike, lack a compassionate ear. Hear their stories and connect with them.