CASA of HoCo Volunteer of the Year - 2011
MEET JOE Z...
"CASA is an organization that is aware that children need a voice, and need love and encouragement in the complicated legal processes. CASA can provide a concerned and loving component for the child; where, otherwise, the child may be alone and hurt."
HOMETOWN - Erie, PA
I ended up in Houston County when my wife and I moved to Warner Robins in 1997 to live with my daughter and family.
I graduated from a State college in Pennsylvania and I attended an aviation school in California. I taught high school for a year, and worked for United Airlines as a Flight Dispatcher for 40 years. I worked in Seattle, New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. With that being said, in my free time (hobbies) I LOVE TO TRAVEL!
As a CASA I have advocated for three children (two cases total). My first case involved a two-year old boy; regarding re-unification with parents. My other case was regarding a 12-year old boy and his younger sisters who were in foster homes. The sisters have been reunited with mom, but the young man is in a group home and he needs constant support.
While I lived in Virginia I was involved in Prison Ministry and I wanted to participate in some such activity here. I just happened to "stumble" upon CASA staff at the Juvenile Center, and I joined the program.
I keep taking cases because I am so concerned with children, and families, who are broken and hurting and and need help and "repairing".
CASA in my own words is an organization that is aware that children need a voice, and need love and encouragement in the complicated legal processes. CASA can provide a concerned and loving component for the child; where, otherwise, the child may be alone and hurt.
My thoughts on the training process and continuing education is that CASA has a good initial training program . The manual covers everything. The continuing training is good in that it teaches us about DFCS, counseling, etc., and other phases of the court activities.
Working with CASA I have found that I have a great concern for children who are hurting because of broken families, and are alone and hurting, and needing someone to be-friend them and love them. I feel that CASA's role, in most cases, results in uplifting a hurting child; bringing love and hope to that child; even changing and molding a life.
"Mr. Joe" has been with the CASA program for 31/2 years. He has been the advocate for "Billy" for the past two years. He also advocated for some of "Billy's" siblings prior to their return home. Mr. Joe has traveled to several counties to visit this young man and continues to travel near Atlanta so that he can stay in contact with him. Because of his consistency, "Billy" has opened up and thoroughly enjoys seeing Mr. Joe. On "Billy's" 14th birthday, Mr. Joe was in court advocating for him.
Mr. Joe also calls volunteers for reminders, regularly attends Peer Group meetings, and helps with various CASA programs and events. At the age of 94, he continues to inspire us all!!