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Dan Cates – February 2021 Featured Volunteer
- How long have you been a CASA?
I participated along with about a dozen wonderful fellow trainees in the training sessions held this past fall and I began working with my family in December 2020.
- What brought you to apply to become a CASA?
After retiring from a career as a public education administrator in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, my wife and I moved full-time to Bloomington last June. For many kids, before they even get to the bus stop, their lives are impacted by numerous systems and decisions that are beyond their control. CASA stands out as one of the rare agencies whose sole purpose is to ensure that the voices and best interests of children take top priority and it’s wonderful to be a part.
- Besides being a CASA volunteer, what do you like to do in your spare time?
My wife and I greatly enjoyed learning pickleball this year and we are ready for our first full gardening season in Bloomington. I enjoy yoga and I’m looking forward to getting back to the studio to practice with others.
- What do you love the most about being a CASA?
Each time I make an “extra” unscheduled contact or visit with the family, a teacher, or any of the service providers, I sense that we all gather a little more wind in our sails and encouragement to make the next extra effort. No family gets to CASA on a winning streak, but CASA invites all of us to be part of creating one.
- And now for a little fun, what’s a hidden talent or unusual fact that most people don’t know about you?
For years, I’ve had this screenplay in my head. This past November I participated in the national novel writing month and benefited from setting accountable goals to write it out as a novel. Now I have the first draft of a hot mess, but it’s on paper!