2022 CASA of HoCo Advocate of the Year
MEET Leanne S.
"I have learned how to better relate to people with different backgrounds and experiences than mine. It is my hope that I have grown in compassion and understanding."
I grew up in a military family – born in Wyoming and lived in Air Force towns all over the US ever since. After my dad retired from the Air Force in Mississippi, we moved to Warner Robins where I finished my last two years of high school at Northside High (FOREVER BLUE). Music was my area of study in college. I attended Georgia State University for a short time and then transferred to Mercer University. I completed two years of college and then married and started working full time. My husband Dennis and I have been married 39 years, and our two adult children are married with young children. I have worked in law offices and then church offices as an administrative assistant my entire adult life.
While working at a local church office one day, Ida Gary came in to drop off information for us to share with anyone in the church interested in serving as a CASA. I kept one flyer in my purse and several around my office, and they kept resurfacing over the next year. Then one day, while in a ladies Bible study, I felt compelled to do something to serve my community outside of the 4 walls of my home, office and church. About that time, I came across one of the CASA flyers Ida had given me. I called the number, left a message about my interest, and someone reached out to let me know they were having a meet and greet that night! I showed up and signed up for the next training session beginning in March of 2018. My schedule was pretty busy with a full time job, a part time job, and family and church obligations, but it was amazing how everything lined up for me to attend the training.
I have served since May 2018, and I have had 5 cases, involving a total of 9 children. Advocating can be difficult and sometimes disappointing, but I keep coming back for the next assignment because I believe we make a difference in Houston County, one child and one family at a time. Much of what I have learned while serving as a CASA has been completely outside my life experience and education – from the effects of trauma on children to legal processes involved with children in foster care. However, mostly I have learned how to better relate to people with different backgrounds and experiences than mine. It is my hope that I have grown in compassion and understanding.
When I am not advocating, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my 4 adorable grandchildren. I also enjoy my job, traveling with my husband, reading and serving in my church.