A summer internship of Olympic proportions

A summer internship of Olympic proportions

Aug 27 2013

By Bri Ates

Even heroes need a hiatus, and that is exactly how CASA Staff Olympics came about! CASA Staff Olympics is an annual staff team-building event that was held this summer at an awesome venue, Grace Covenant Church! The spirit behind CASA Staff Olympics is to create an opportunity for members of our staff, who do serious and challenging work on a daily basis, to hang loose and have fun! The staff was divided into several teams, and each team chose a team name and team captain. The teams raced each other in a wacky obstacle course that involved hula hoops, skipping, competitive Play-Doh sculpting, and balloon waddling backwards (just to name a few). It was tons of fun to be silly and see everyone get to unleash their inner child!

One of the stations that I particularly enjoyed required the whole team to get two hula hoops around each of their bodies while holding hands. The task seemed as though it could be time consuming at first, but each team on the CASA staff strategized and found unique ways to complete the hula hoop challenge within seconds! This reminded me of how CASA goes above and beyond in every aspect... Read more< Read More

CASA volunteers head back to school

CASA volunteers head back to school

Aug 20 2013

By Callie Langford

As we all prepare to head back to school this fall, our CASA volunteers are spending a little extra time in the classroom as well. Dozens of CASA volunteers participated this summer in our continuing education series on advocacy for CASA children in the classroom. “Children in care face a lot of educational hurdles, starting with neglect by their parents and made worse by the frequently chaotic nature of being caught up in a CPS case.  Getting an adequate education is very important to their futures, and this is an area in which CASA can make a significant contribution by monitoring the child's educational progress and providing encouragement to everyone involved in the educational process,” said Melissa Winans, a CASA volunteer who attended the whole series and led one of the trainings.

“The CASA volunteers’ connection and presence in our children’s school is crucial. Placement changes with children moving to different foster homes and schools can frequently create confusion and important information can be lost. CASA volunteers can provide consistency and the continuity necessary to ease those transitions so kids can be as successful in school as possible,” said Mary Nicosia, Volunteer Retention Specialist, who planned this series of trainings. Read more< Read More

Meet Volunteer Advocate Jacqueline Hill

Meet Volunteer Advocate Jacqueline Hill

Aug 15 2013

By Callie Langford, Originally published in TODO Austin Magazine

Jacqueline Hill was born in Rochester, New York, and lived in several different cities before moving to Austin in 2001 to be close to her parents. She’s one of five children and comes from a very close family.

Jacqueline works as the Human Resources Manager for Goodwill Industries, and has an MBA from Northwestern University an MFA from Columbia College Chicago. She spends her free time travelling, learning languages, going to concerts and writing. She is currently working on her first novel.

Jacqueline became a CASA volunteer over a year ago... Read more< Read More