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; figuring out what’s in the best interest of the children served, increasing the cultural competency of staff, and going out and recruiting awesome volunteers for CASA. Hosting events such as Knowing Who You Are and Cultural Lunches make learning about different people and struggles they face captivating, and most importantly, applicable to what CASA volunteers do. Staying in regular contact with a child and their family, teachers, and doctors helps CASA to make rational and informed recommendations in court. Going out into the community to events like Keep Austin Weird and Huston-Tillotson’s Veterans Career Fair help insure that we are recruiting volunteers from all walks of life who each have something special to contribute to CASA.

CASA, volunteer, Austin - Staff Olympics

My experience as an intern this summer has been unforgettable. The lesson with the strongest impact is the importance of speaking up. In a profession that requires you to speak up for others, it is essential to know the value of your own voice. Throughout this internship I was encouraged to step out of my shell by making calls, speaking up in meetings, talking to people at recruitment events and more. With practice, and with the help of coworkers who were all very generous with their knowledge, I was able to do these things with confidence! CASA has encouraged me to pursue life as a hero and for that I will always be grateful.

Oh and a special SHOUT OUT goes to the two winning teams of CASA Olympics, the Cheezy CASAdillas and Kung Fu CASA!!! Way to play!