An excerpt from Someone
There For Me
Submitted by: Michelle Zombeck
CASA Program Director
The followings stories are real and came from the book "Someone There For Me" published by the CWLA Press.
My name is Pamela.
I am the oldest of seven children. We almost took care of ourselves. I was only fourteen, and I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. Everybody told us it would be a couple of weeks in foster care but it turned into months, then years.
Suddenly a new person walked into the life of me and my sister. With the constant changing of social workers and counselors, I didn't know what to expect. She asked us what our interests were, and we set up a time to meet every week. For the first time in awhile I felt that this just might be a good thing.
As the weeks went by, we got to know each other better. I realized I could talk to her about problems, not only personal problems, but problems about the house we lived in. She was our voice, our stability, and our friend.
It turned into a lifelong relationship. She may not have even realized her impact on my life because she was simply just being a friend. Someone you can talk to, someone you can trust. I have found that it's the simple things that make someone complete as a person.
My name is Archie.
I was 12 and my brother was 13 when the first-time CASA volunteer met with us in our foster home. I remember the smile on her face and a quality about her that put us at ease. We were in a high level of care when we entered the system because we was angry that our sister was not put in the same home....plus we had been living on the streets, in cars, and in shelters. The CASA quickly learned that we weren't going to school because we was missing clean clothes, meals, and support that would allow us to make school a priority.
My CASA was there when no one else was. She was there when we fought our biggest struggles in foster care. She inspired us when we felt most uninspired. She motivated us to keep our grades up and stay in school. She also motivated us to dig deep within to overcome our toughest emotions. She gave us a high level of confidence.
My brother and I overcame our challenges and achieved many things. We earn A's and B's and in a much lower level of foster care. My CASA worker helped me to get into activities and take leadership roles. She put forth so much effort to ensure our success and without her immense inspiration and concern, I would not have the motivation or the desire to make a difference in the lives of others.
Learn more about becoming the voice of a child in need by contacting Child Advocacy and ask to speak to CASA Program Director Michelle Zombeck.