Meet the Volunteers

Meet the Volunteers

Meet Volunteer Advocate Steph Dirden

“We have so many kids of color in the foster care system, and I know for the children I serve, there was an instant connection because they were able to see me and say, ‘there’s someone who looks like me.’ I’ve felt that way in dealing with their whole family as well. Representation is so important.”

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Meet Volunteer Advocate Kimberlyn Barton

"Being a CASA volunteer just feels natural, like breathing. I think it makes me a better person. It makes me feel more at ease and like I’ve done something better in the world. It feels like I’m paying it forward."

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Meet Volunteer Advocate Keith Finley

“A lot of the happiest families/best situations have nothing to do with where people are economically,” says CASA volunteer Keith Finley. “A lot of very loving households that may have economic challenges still have a supportive, happy, thriving environment.”

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Meet Volunteer Advocate Hazel McNeilage

"I see the hardships that many of these families [that CASA serves] have, and how that impacts the kids,” observes Hazel. “What a struggle it can be for people who in many ways are actually trying to do the right thing. Even when things are going well, they can be one problem away from something that could really cause them issues and spiral them off course. There is no safety net.” 

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Meet Volunteer Advocate Mary Folse

Representation is a topic that matters deeply to CASA volunteer Mary Folse. She believes that regardless of one’s background or the color of their skin, their experiences and viewpoints matter. Not only is this what drew Mary to CASA in the first place, but it’s a value she takes seriously in her own family’s life. “I emphasize representation for my kids because I didn’t see that growing up,” shares Mary.

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Meet Volunteer Advocate Angela Duley

"The biggest thing that a CASA volunteer brings is their time," says volunteer Angela Duley. "Taking the time to advocate, to ask for what's needed, to call attention to that child."

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Meet Volunteer Advocate Juan Carrero

"When I was told about my first case, I was a little scared. I asked my supervisor, 'Why did you pick me for this? I'm new!' I'll always remember her answer: 'CASA believes you have what it takes for this case. You are going to be a role model to a young man who has never had one.'

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Meet Volunteer Advocate Elizabeth Marks

"The one question that comes to my mind most often is what if she didn't have CASA?" says CASA volunteer Elizabeth Marks. "I will always be a supporter because CASA is what it says it is: we help make sure that kids have a voice."

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Meet Volunteer Advocate Richard Allen

"The reward is having an impact on the life of a child," says CASA volunteer Richard Allen. "Being able to give them a sense that they are worth being taken care of."

Richard credits his late wife of almost 21 years, Floriene, for his commitment to CASA today. 

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Meet Volunteer Advocate Claudia Hernandez

At 22 years old, giving back is already a big part of CASA volunteer Claudia Hernandez's life. Today, she is a CASA all-star; serving as an Early Family Engagement volunteer, a CASA Ambassador, and fundraising for CASA on her own.

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