CASA Up Close | June 2018
Welcome to another edition of CASA Up Close Monthly. Please feel free to contact CASA for more information about anything you read. And, as always, thank you for your continued support! Use these quick links to get involved.
In this Issue
  • Our Graduating Foster Youth
  • 10 New CASA Volunteers
  • Upcoming Training Dates
  • Advocate Social a Success
  • Information Sessions
  • CASA Superhero Run
  • A Hole Lotta Love for CASA
  • Good Luck, Laura!
  • CASA Training and Support Center
  • Events Benefiting CASA
Letter from the Executive Director

    When youth remain in foster care through their teenage years, the CASA volunteer serves a unique and important role by helping prepare these young people to become self-sufficient members of the community.
    Providing a stable voice of encouragement, giving guidance to prepare for the future, offering emotional encouragement and connecting youth to skills-building resources that will increase the chances for a positive future. This is how our CASA Volunteers make a difference. 

We are very proud of our 7 CASA youth who successfully completed their high school education this Spring.
Earning a diploma is an achievement for all youth and we are delighted to celebrate with them. National statistics show that about half of youth in foster care do not earn their high school diploma. Please honor these amazing young people by taking a minute to see some of their pictures below and read about their future plans.

I sincerely thank our advocates who work with these older youth. I truly believe that as our volunteers are providing critically needed support, they are in turn bettering our community.

Norma Castilla-Blackwell
CASA of Central Texas Executive Director.
Jacob met his CASA volunteer Sara McCaffrey when she was appointed in 2013. He and his siblings were adopted by family members in 2015 and Sara has stayed in contact with the family since. Jacob has been accepted to the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Lana Rhodes was appointed as Aireanna's CASA volunteer in May of 2016. Aireanna graduated from Austin CAN Academy this June. She worked diligently to graduate early and was one of four in her graduating class awarded the Delia Jasso Employee Scholarship for great academic potential and achievement. She is exploring her higher education options and has expressed she would like to be a CPS caseworker.
Ariana and Briana , graduated high school in New Mexico in May. 
The twins are continuing in care and have moved back to Texas to live at an Independent Living facility to attend college at Alamo Colleges and work.
They are doing great, and are excited about their benefits to attend college.
Welcome New CASA Volunteers
Front row: Loretta Hawkins, Carolyn Knighton, Lynne Kypuros, Anna-Sarah Jochebed

Back row: Emily Falls, Terrah Friesenhahn, John Donnally, Kirsten Fahnstock, Amber Gates, Gabriela Diaz, Judge Melissa McClenahan

Sworn in June 21, 2018

Become a CASA Volunteer
Upcoming Training Dates

Caldwell County
July 14 - July 28
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

San Marcos  
August 1 - August 29
4:30 to 8:30 p.m.   

New Braunfels
August 2- August 30
1 - 5 p.m.

Check out our calendar for dates and times for the rest of the year and for information on how to get enrolled. Submit your application for an upcoming training here.
For more information on training courses, contact Volunteer Coordinator Samantha Mundine Coleman at 512-392-3578, 830-626-2272, or by email .

Training is required for all new Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers.
Advocate Social
With all the hard work our advocates do, they deserve time to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Advocates gathered on June 21 at the New Braunfels Conservation Society for the Spring Social.

Thank you to the Wing Society for organizing this social opportunity!
"Voices" Information Sessions
Want to learn more about the role of a CASA Volunteer?

Come to our one-hour information session and hear how our volunteers advocate for children who have been abused and neglected.
New Braunfels 
Wednesday, July 11th, noon *
CASA office
* Different date due to 4th of July Holiday

San Marcos 
Wednesday, July 18th, noon 
Historic County Courthouse, 1st floor conference room
CASA staff and volunteers will be on hand to share their stories and answer your questions. 

Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272. 
Lunch provided by Chick-fil-A.
CASA Superhero Run opens Distance Challenge!
We are excited to announce that the 2018 CASA Superhero Run 5K and Kids 1K is happening Sunday, September 16 at the IBM Client Innovation Center (our new venue at 11501 Burnet Rd, just across the street from our previous venue), and that registration is now open. We hope you will join us this year!

We are even more excited to tell you that we are now the opening race for the renowned Austin Distance Challenge, a series of the most prestigious local running events leading up to the Austin Marathon & Half Marathon in February . If you've been wanting to train for a full or half-marathon, you can kick off the season with our chip-timed 5K.

Registration and fundraising are now open at !

You can be a superhero for children who've been abused or neglected. 
Register for the race, donate to kids, fundraise for the cause, or do all 3!
Show a "Hole Lotta Love" for CASA
We are excited for the second CASA Classic golf tournament on October 29, 2018 at River Crossing Golf Club in Spring Branch.
Thank you to Corridor Title for presenting this event.

Sponsorships available.
Team registration is open.
Click here for all the details.

Thank you and good luck, Laura!
This month we said farewell to Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator Laura Torres .

Laura started with CASA in 2015 after graduating from TLU and spent the last three years attending community events, giving presentations to local groups, and creating materials to recruit more CASA Volunteers. She refelected back on her time with CASA.

"When I was at TLU, I participated in many civic engagement projects with the community. I knew that I wanted to continue that once I graduated. I knew very little at the time about foster care or the child welfare system so it was an eye opening experience to join CASA."

"I loved getting to know the communities we serve. Before I had started with CASA, I had never been to Bulverde, Dripping Springs, or Wimberley. It was wonderful to form connections with the people who live in our region."

"I will miss seeing the volunteers become CASAs. There were many times when someone would come to me and say, 'I’m ready to become a CASA.' It was exciting to see that person fill out their application, come to training, and then see them at the swearing in. In some cases, it’s been a few years since I first met these volunteers and when I speak with them now, they are still excited to be making a difference in the lives of children. It’s a full circle moment that made me passionate about recruiting volunteers."

"I’m going to be attending Texas State University as I work towards earning my Master’s degree in Sociology. I will be working as a Graduate Assistant to two new faculty members in the Sociology department."

"I will continue to serve as a volunteer. I’ve been on my case for over two years and I’m staying until it comes to a close. It’s my hope that I will continue to be a volunteer for many years since I truly believe in the mission of CASA!"

Laura has promised she will be involved in CASA so we wish her luck and look forward to seeing her at CASA events and advocate socials!
Support the CASA Training and Support Center
The journey to a new, permanent office located in San Marcos is progressing having recently completed the 100% Design Development stage of the project. Construction permits were filed with the city in June.

To be a part of this exciting addition to CASA of Central Texas, contact Tricia Schneider by email , or visit our website .
Events Benefiting CASA

CASA of Central Texas welcomes community initiatives to help promote awareness and funding for our program. By taking on this type of project, event organizers assume the responsibility of creating a successful event without a significant level of assistance from CASA. All special events and fundraising efforts conducted to benefit CASA are run by financially responsible and reputable organizations and individuals motivated by a genuine desire to help CASA. If you are interested in hosting a third-party fundraiser to benefit CASA, please review these guidelines .
POW! BAM! ZAP! Racers really showed their strength at the Movie Hero Run hosted by the dynamic duo Scott Wood of Athlete Guild and Ryan Smith, owner of Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre. Thanks to them, participants and their fans took in an incredible view of cornfields stretching for miles and enjoyed a morning full of fresh air and sunshine.

Spiderman and Princess Ariel even made special guest appearances!

The Francis family (including mom and CASA Volunteer Kim ) stole the show at the award ceremony when the older brother hugged his sister for winning in her category. Thank you to everyone who took part in making this first annual event so special.

Mark your calendars for June 8, 2019 for next year's run!
Gee, Geezerfest was an absolute blast! From the familial atmosphere to the rockin’ entertainment and delicious food, this year’s event was one to remember!

CASA extends a special thanks to Kevin Gray, Tim Lewelling, Michael Wren and everyone from A Major Funding for all their efforts in organizing Geezerfest.

CASA also thanks the beautiful Villa at Gruene for serving as the new event venue, as well as all of the bands that traveled near and far for providing everyone with such an unforgettable experience. Lastly, thank you to all of the generous ‘Geezers’ who showed their support for CASA. Everyone came together and made it ‘a major’ fun-packed day!

Photo courtesy of Emily Hamilton
CASA of Central Texas, Inc. | 830-626-2272 | |