Meet the Volunteers

Born at Brackenridge Hospital, Tara has spent her entire life near Austin. She has been married for 19 years to her high school sweetheart. They have 2 children - an 18-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son. Tara works as a Contract Manager at AT&T, and loves spending her free time with her husband and family. She serves as a Sunday school teacher and does many children's extracurricular activities at her church.

Tara has worked with 9 children in her 6 years as a CASA volunteer. She says that she feels "blessed to be able to impact little lives. I can't change what happened to them. They're going to have to fight that battle, but I made a positive impact, and that really just makes me happy."

Originally from Waco, Bob graduated from Stephen F. Austin University, joined the military and then worked with CIGNA Healthcare and as a financial advisor. He and his wife of 40 years enjoy traveling, and seeing theatre and live music. He has worked with 5 CASA youth over 4 years and finds it “to be a very enthusiastic and challenging atmosphere. I know that we’re really helping the kids. Every case has been different but I’ve played a substantial role in each.”

Daniel came from Houston to study advertising at UT. His brother was a CASA volunteer and Daniel took a job as a CASA supervisor after graduating. He now works as an analyst with NIA Consulting but continues to volunteer. He has served 112 children and sees CASA as “a very creative solution to a huge and complicated problem. It’s very outside the box.”

Born in Los Angeles, Maria eventually moved with her whole family to Texas where she got a business degree from Texas State. She works in marketing at National Instruments, is a runner, and is very involved with Communities in Schools, FuturoFund, Leadership Austin and other community organizations.

Maria has worked with 7 children over 5 years of volunteering with CASA. She says that “CASA has really broadened my perspective of what it means to live in Austin. It is such a great city and has so much to offer but there are so many people that I think get lost and sometimes I tend or people tend to live in a bubble and not realize that there’s so much out there. When I started working for CASA, I was able to go to many new parts of the city that I didn't know and see how rich the history and the culture are."

Norma lives in Austin with her son and her 12-year-old granddaughter, but she comes from a huge family. She was raised with 10 brothers and 3 sisters in Laredo. Norma worked with IBM for 29 years, and now she’s the director of a family resource center at Martin Middle School. Norma loves jogging at Town Lake and was a founder of the middle school program Un Sabado Gigante in Engineering.

Norma has been a CASA volunteer for 11 years and served on the board for 3 years. She has worked with 19 children throughout her time as a volunteer. Norma says that “sometimes you think you’ve done enough – worked a full day, taken care of your family. But helping these children pays back with their smiles and their hugs and knowing it will be better for them because you were there.”

Born in Phoenix, Olivia decided to get back to her family’s roots and attended university in Seoul, Korea studying sociology and English. She is currently going to law school to further her education. Olivia loves rock music, and enjoys playing tennis and other sports.

A volunteer for 2 years, Olivia has worked with one young boy. She says that she’s “been able to provide continuity when my CASA child moves from one placement to another. When he has a new therapist, new teachers, a new caretaker, I’ve been able to communicate that this is how he’s been doing previously and these are the things that work really well with him.” She feels that “no matter how resilient children are, they need their very own advocate in a situation like this. I almost feel like we shouldn’t be sleeping, we need to do something for these children now.”

Holly and Gavin lead a busy life with their 3 ½ year-old son. Gavin works as a legislative affairs consultant while Holly works as a realtor and owns her own store. Holly volunteers with The Junior League of Austin, and the two of them have a barbeque team that competes in the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo raising money for scholarship funds.

Holly’s parents were CASA volunteers in San Antonio so she’s grown up with this organization and she introduced Gavin to CASA. They have worked on cases together as a couple for 6 years serving 8 children. When they looked into volunteering they “were looking for a volunteer role that was really tangible, where every time you leave you feel like you’ve done something. We’re all involved in great things, but sometimes you leave thinking, did I really make a difference today? With CASA from the beginning we’ve always felt that every minute spent is valuable and productive.”


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