CASA of Central Texas advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system by recruiting, training and supporting community volunteers.
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.
Letter from the Executive Director
When advocating for children, CASA's goal is to see them placed in safe, permanent homes. This can mean reunification with family or seeing them adopted into a new and loving family. When neither of these options is possible, there is, sadly, another outcome: remaining in foster care until age 18. In this situation, the CASA volunteer serves a unique and important role by helping prepare these young people to become self-sufficient members of the community.
If you were raised by loving parents, think of everything your parents did to prepare you to be on your own. They probably took you to get your ID or driver's license and made sure you had your Social Security card so you could become employed. They maybe helped you find your first job. They might have helped you open a savings or checking account or taught you how to responsibly manage a credit card. They visited college campuses with you and helped you apply for scholarships. They might have guided you towards a trade school or taught you about the benefits of joining the military.
For the children CASA works with, there is often no stable voice of encouragement. These young people have grown up just trying to survive their current circumstances. They have had little time or guidance to prepare for their future. How can we now expect them to be ready to live on their own and know how to survive in our vast world?
This is where CASA can help. The CASA volunteer not only provides these young adults with the necessary emotional encouragement to believe they can succeed, but also gives them guidance while developing from teenager to young adult and seeks out tools and skills-building resources that will increase the chances for a positive future.
We are very proud of our nine CASA youth who successfully completed their high school education this Spring. High school graduation is an achievement for all youth but especially for ours, any one of whom has many excuses to fail. National statistics show that about half of youth in foster care do not earn their high school diploma. Our sincerest congratulations to every one - Alysia, Andrea, Anthony, Charlene, Damien, Janel, Jessica, Taren and Travis. Please honor them by taking a minute to look at the section below to see their pictures and read about their future plans.
I would also like to 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.
We are so proud of our nine young adults who graduated from high school this year. What an accomplishment! Good Luck on your futures.
and her CASA Volunteer Lesley Allen. Alysia became
pregnant at 13, moved from foster home to foster home, changed schools several times along the way, lost her parents, moved away from sisters, faced several other challenges, but still graduated from high school
and is successfully raising her son.
She has already started classes at Austin Community college and is working part time.
Andrea with her CASA Volunteer Cherri Douglas. Andrea graduated from Seguin High School. She intends to enroll at St. Phillips in the Fall and transfer to UTSA to study to be a psychiatrist.
Charlene with her CASA Volunteer Megan Ransom. Charlene hopes to attend Austin Community College and work.
Damien graduated and is interviewing to find a job. His CASA Volunteer is Judy Godinez. She was by his side when he was adopted in March after almost 12 years in foster care.
Janel and her CASA Volunteer Betty Wiznoski. Janel moved into a Community-based Services Home. She will attend Day Habilitation to assist her with daily living skills, health and employability. Janel ultimately would like to find a job and work toward living independently.
Jessica and her CASA Volunteer Liza Pergiel.
Jessica plans to attend San Antonio Junior College in the Fall. Her CASA Volunteer has been a constant cheerleader and ensured Jessica kept motivated to graduate. Liza attended graduation and is there for her anytime Jessica calls.
Travis with his CASA Supervisor Tim Judkins. Travis lives in Hays County and plans to do volunteer work this summer and possibly go to community college.
Congratulations to two other graduates not pictured: Anthony, who will work at Lowe's this summer and then attend techinal school, and Taren, who plans to pursue a career in auto mechanics.
Welcome New CASA Volunteers
Welcome to our newest CASA Volunteers, sworn in on June 22nd. Pictured (l-r) are:
Cristina Orona of Hays County,
Val Wanjura of Guadalupe County,
Judge Melissa DeGerolami
and Martha Soliz-Wright of Hays County
Become a CASA Volunteer
|Calvin and Sonya Rodriguez, CASA of Central Texas Advocates since 2011
2015 New Volunteer Trainings
To learn more about training sessions, contact Training Coordinator Debbie Haynes at 512-392-3578 or by
For more information on becoming a volunteer, click
June 24 thru July 29
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
August 12 thru Sept. 16
4:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Oct. 7 thru Nov. 11
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Oct. 17 thru Nov. 21
8:30 am to 1:30 pm
Held at the CASA office
June 25 thru July 30
4:30 pm to 8:30 pm
August 13 thru Sept. 17
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Oct. 8 thru Nov. 12
4:30 pm to 8:30 pm
|Bob Caldwell, CASA of Central Texas Volunteer since 2009
"We had a presentation at our church about children in the foster system who needed adoptive families. My wife and I were not in a position to
adopt but I could do
SOMETHING to help children who find themselves in that situation."
"I learned quite a bit about CASA and decided that was how I wanted to serve the local community. I felt that as a Christian I needed to get out of the church and INTO the community."
"What stands out to me is how child abuse and neglect is an epidemic in our community...I have learned that CASA is on the front lines of that struggle."
Voices Tour 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.
CASA staff and volunteers will be on hand to share their stories and answer your questions.
First Wednesday of each month - Noon
Second Wednesday of each month - Noon
Please RSVP to Eloise Hudson by email or at 830-626-2272.
Lunch provided by Fox's Pizza Den in New Braunfels and Chick-fil-A in San Marcos.
Painting with a Purpose
Join us for a night of fun and express your creative side as you Paint with a Purpose. The host company, Painting with a Twist, is generously donating 50% of the proceeds to CASA of Central Texas.
Participants will paint one of the above pieces of art with the help of an instructor, and support CASA at the same time. One of these will be selected, which do you like best?
Mark your calendar
1551 N Walnut Ave #20, New Braunfels
$40 Includes supplies and snacks and $20 goes to CASA!
Contact Tricia Schneider by email to register
CASA of Central Texas is pleased to announce we were once again selected to receive a National CASA grant for the Fostering Futures project! We know that older youth in foster care are facing tough odds as they prepare for their futures. CASA provides a special training curriculum for advocating for youth ages 14 to 21. Any new or current advocate may request assignments with this group.
"It is a really interesting training. Definitely eye-opening and things I had just never thought about before. Anyone who is going to be a CASA for older teens really should take this training." - Advocate Robbie Hawkins.
If there is a special place in your heart for helping older youth build their life skills and prepare for a successful future, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Samantha Mundine by email. This training counts for 3 hours of Continuing Education credit.
Thank you National CASA!
Sail with CASA
Join CASA for an evening of fun, food and drinks, live music and entertainment. Music by Texas Tide
Arnold Zwicke - Guadalupe County Sheriff
and the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Department
Friday, September 11, 2015
Texas Agricultural and Heritage Center
390 Cordova Road, Seguin
Sponsor tables still available for $750, $1,000 and $2,500.
Contact Daysy Silvestre at 830-626-2272 or by email to sponsor this event.
Purchase tickets online or call 830-626-2272.
Support CASA with your Clicks
Here are easy ways to raise money for CASA of Central Texas while you search and shop online. Try them once to learn how easy it is, keep using them to earn more for CASA!
When you shop on Amazon, at no extra cost to you a portion of your eligible purchases can be donated to CASA! Just go to www.smile.amazon.com, log on to your Amazon account, type CASA of Central Texas in the search box, select us and start shopping! CASA will receive .5% of all eligible purchases when you buy from Amazon!
Use GoodSearch, a search engine just like Google, but for every search you do, CASA of Central Texas receives 1 cent. Go to www.goodsearch.com, type in CASA of Central Texas as the beneficiary, and start searching! In addition, do all of your shopping through their online shopping mall, GoodShop.com, where you can shop at more than 2,400 top online retailers and a percentage of your purchases will go to CASA of Central Texas. You pay the same price as you normally would, but a donation goes to CASA!