1. How long have you been a CASA volunteer?
I joined Monroe County CASA in September 2019. Since then, I have advocated for children on two cases, and I am currently on my third.
2. What brought you to apply to become a CASA volunteer?
Prior to moving to Bloomington, I was a 2nd-grade teacher in Vanuatu as a part of the Peace Corps. I taught English to 2nd graders and reproductive health to the girls and women in my village who were in 6th grade and older. After the Peace Corps, I worked in the Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development in the Child Protection Unit in Kampala, Uganda. Together, with UNICEF, we conducted nationwide assessments on the state of children in Uganda. I then moved to Bloomington for graduate school, and I wanted to continue working with children in need. One day, I saw a billboard for CASA and decided to sign up for the training.
3. Besides being a CASA volunteer, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I am a full-time Ph.D. student, and I also work full-time for Indiana University. In my spare time, I love hanging out with my step-kids, sewing, hiking, and watching television with my wonderful husband.
4. What do you love the most about being a CASA?
I love that the CASA program enables the voices of children to be heard. Far too often, kids are brushed off as not knowing what is best for them. There are plenty of situations where they are not heard, and I love that the CASA program provides a way to have the voices of children in need heard in the court system and by service providers.
5. What’s a hidden talent or unusual fact that most people don’t know about you?
I have traveled to over 30 countries in the last 10 years. Vanuatu, Turkey, Zanzibar, and Vietnam were my favorite places to explore. I have been to six of the seven continents, and I hope to cross off Antarctica one day!