What brought you to apply to become a CASA?
Under my name in my 1965 yearbook I stated that I wanted to be a Social Worker and work with children. After raising my two sons, I fulfilled that statement and at the age of 50 I received my Social Work degree from IU. Two weeks after graduation from IU I became a Family Case Manager for Healthy Families of Monroe County working with families of newborns making sure the child was up-to-date on shots, age appropriate development, and finding community resources for either the child or the family. Within two years I became the Program Manager until I took early retirement. Within a year of retirement I realized how much I missed working with families and took the training to become a CASA.
Besides being a CASA volunteer, what do you like to do in your spare time?
My spare time is spent being on the Grace Center, Inc. board (as well as volunteering at the food pantry on Thursday afternoons), the Treasurer for the Monroe County Democratic Women’s Caucus, board member of the Monroe Fire Protection District and the best spare time spent is when I have visits with my granddaughter and grandson who live in the Chicago area.
What do you love the most about being a CASA?
There are many reasons what I love about being a CASA, but I think there are two main reasons for me: trust and always providing a safe environment for the child.I have learned that it takes time for some children to learn to trust you. The first time the child smiles at you as you enter the room, I know the child trusts me as the person who supports them for who they are. Providing a safe environment was confirmed to me when recently I was shopping at Kroger, when I heard my name as a young lady approached me. It was a mother from a case a couple years back. She brought me up to date on her and her daughter and then thanked me for making sure her daughter was safe at all times while she was trying to get her life back together. That “thank you” for keeping her daughter safe is why we are CASA volunteers.
And now for a little fun, what’s a hidden talent or unusual fact that most people don’t know about you?
When I was 15 my family went to Washington DC to visit a friend of my Dad’s who was in charge of the President’s plane. During our visit my Dad’s friend arranged for us to personally meet President Kennedy on a day the President was flying back to DC. When President Kennedy extended his hand to me to shake I was so mad that Jackie was not with him that I crossed my arms and refused to shake his hand. I remember the President chuckled and then proceeded to shake hands with my parents, my sister and brother.