CASA of HoCo Volunteer of the Year - 2012
ABOUT CINDY R.
"The CASA volunteer experience "is the toughest job you will ever love”. It is the most wonderful, rewarding experience to see a child’s eyes brighten when you walk in the room knowing you’re there just to see them..."
HOMETOWN - Macon, GA
Eric (my son) and I moved to Houston County in 2005 to be closer to my family. Had lived in Tennessee for many years to take care of my in-laws.
I studied Business Administration at Macon State (now known as Middle GA State College) and Georgia College. I am an independent Healthcare Consultant who LOVES to travel to see new places, try new foods, and meet new people. I love the outdoords, riding bikes or hiking in the mountains.
As a CASA I have advocated for seven children (three cases total). My first case involved a family of five children who lost a sibling in a drowning incident at their home. My second case involved a teenage girl who would "age out" of foster care. I am currently advocating for another teenage girl whose family can no longer provide a home for her. She is currently in a group home and she needs constant support in order to successfully transition into adulthood.
Q:How did I get started with CASA ?
A: I always knew that part of God’s plan was for me to work with foster children. One day I was watching Dr. Phil and he did a segment on CASA and it spoke to me that this was something I could do. I looked up the website and started my training within a couple of weeks.
The CASA volunteer experience "is the toughest job you will ever love”. It is the most wonderful, rewarding experience to see a child’s eyes brighten when you walk in the room knowing you’re there just to see them and to be their voice and know that you will always look out for them. And it can be heartbreaking when you hear of the circumstances that took that child out of their previous environment and placed them into foster care and the pain you see in their face when they ask the tough questions. I hope that I can be someone that can ease some of that pain and replace it with hope and maybe even a little happiness.
I keep taking cases because if I can make a difference in just one more child’s life; it will be worth it.
CASA in my own words resonates We are the “voice of the child”, safeguarding their best interests and ensuring the child is placed in a safe, nurturing environment. We are sometimes the only stable, consistent adult in their lives.
My thoughts on the training process and continuing education is that there are plenty of continuing education opportunities. My favorite is the National CASA E-Learning Website. The modules are interactive and you can pause if needed and come back to it later.
Since becoming a CASA I have learned to become a better listener, I hope. I’ve learned that I can’t always fix the problems for a child or their family, but I can always listen to them and offer them guidance and an encouraging word. Quite often all that someone needs is to be heard and know that there are people that do care about them and helping them to succeed.