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Brandi Sears – May 2018 Featured Volunteer
- How long have you been a CASA?
Since Fall 2012, 5 years
- What brought you to apply to become a CASA?
I had finished my undergraduate degree, and had met with a career counselor to discuss possible jobs more related to my degree field; he suggested I start volunteering in the community, to help me determine what areas I was truly interested in. I had heard of CASA before, and it was on the list I had created of possibilities. After learning more about CASAs and what they did, I knew I would love it, and got signed up for an interview and initial meeting as soon as I could. After learning more, it seemed like a perfect way to really make an impact in our community, and seemed like it would be rewarding and a great learning opportunity for me. I was not quite ready for grad school at the time, but did not want to quit learning and growing individually; all the amazing free training opportunities CASA provided, was a great way for me to do that.
- Besides being a CASA advocate, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I am a graduate student currently, so the only free time in my life right now is watching Friends during study breaks! When not in school, I enjoy being outside and going walking and hiking, doing a variety of craft projects, sitting on the porch with my husband, and traveling to new places.
- What do you love the most about being a CASA?
I love getting to form a relationship with the kids and families we serve. I love to watch the people I interact with grow over the time I work with them. I like the moments I get to encourage and lift up others, who quite frankly, are typically in a low and stressful time period in their lives. I love the feeling at the end of the case knowing I made a huge impact on the future of the children’s lives. I also think the children sometimes realize I am the only one (or sometimes one of the few people, if we are assigned an especially great DCS worker) who knows every part of their lives during an often changing and unstable time period. We as CASAs see them with all biological, foster, adoptive, and sometimes extended families. We see them at school, we know their visit supervisors, we go to doctor’s appointments with them, we spend time with them, we get to know their friends, pets, comforts, likes, and dislikes. Even when they do not understand everything that is transpiring in court, I think our familiar faces can serve as a huge comfort and stability to them.
- And now for a little fun, what’s a hidden talent or unusual fact that most people don’t know about you?
I love to go skydiving!