Anisah has a degree in neuroscience and loves painting nails. She is preparing to apply to law school and is a movie fanatic. With wide-ranging interests, it’s no surprise she can bond well with her youth and speak up for them fiercely in court.
When volunteer Anisah learned what was most important to her CASA youth, she adjusted her advocacy to fit those needs. Upon learning basketball was "his life," Anisah rearranged her schedule to be able to take the youth to games every weekend. The child's placement could not take him, but Anisah did not hesitate to drive him to games, cheer him on, and take him home for three months.
Once, she even drove the youth to Corpus Christi for a tournament with all parties' permission. Anisah understood that basketball was more than a sport to him — it was an escape.
"Overall, she goes above and beyond. Not only in spending time with the child but identifying what they need—what type of confidant they need in their life and being that support consistently," said Anisah's CASA supervisor, Cecilia.
Teaching for a Positive Influence
Anisah has a busy schedule. She works as a Lab Manager in the Department of Pharmacy at UT and is preparing to apply to law school. Having initially studied neuroscience to become a doctor, she later became interested in law. This, combined with her extensive experience working with elementary-aged kids, made CASA the perfect volunteer role for her.
The child's love of basketball has allowed Anisah to use her role to foster growth and life lessons for the youth. For example, when the child was not being given much playing time in games, Anisah told him to show the coach he wanted to be there through his actions and enthusiasm. The child applied this advice, was put in the game more often, and even scored a three-pointer.
Creating Healthy Memories
Knowing the youth wanted to be an engineer someday, Anisah obtained funds through Foster Angels for the youth to attend a weeklong STEM camp. She also had the opportunity to take him to a San Antonio Spurs game with tickets donated to CASA. Having previously attended a game with a relative that was not a healthy relationship in the child's life, he told Anisah, "I'm thrilled to have this new memory to replace it with."
Anisah recognizes that being a stable adult in a child's life allows them to boost their confidence and be themselves.
"Anytime I make my youth laugh or smile, it brings so much joy into my life," Anisah said. "Getting to know him has been my favorite part of it all."