From a CASA Volunteer Advocate: I Met with My Youth Today

I met with my youth today. Her birthday is this month and so is mine, so we celebrated both of our birthdays today. She made me a card and brought one flower wrapped nicely with a bow. What a special kid she is. There is nothing better than receiving a homemade gift from the heart.

She is still in school and has also gotten a part-time job. She still likes where she is living. She said she feels guilty about receiving assistance as an adult, but really is glad that it’s there for her. She also looks forward to being able to totally support herself when she is 21, but greatly appreciates the extended foster care program and the CASA program. We often talk about budgets and managing funds.

It’s funny that as it turns out she still really didn’t understand the CASA program correctly after all this time. She thought I was getting paid to see her. She didn’t know it was completely volunteer work and that I picked her specifically. She was very pleased to know this and couldn’t believe it. I guess she didn’t understand that volunteer meant you don’t get paid. So she thought I had a bunch of kids assigned to me and met with all of them and got paid to do this.
I think it’s a great quality that she can apply for jobs and get hired easily. People seem to like her and her manners are impeccable. It’s taken a while for me to break through the politeness and her feeling like she has to tell me what she thinks I want to hear. The conversations now are real and non- judgmental. In the arena of honesty is where I can be the most effective mentor. I’m so lucky to have been able to choose her.