Meet Our Everyday Hero, Cyd

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“My greatest joy is when the kids to whom I am assigned proudly call me “my CASA,” and the way their faces light up when I see them.  I know from experience how important that is.”

Cyd has been a volunteer advocate with our program for two years but her roots are deep within the foster community. As a former foster child herself, she knows firsthand the significance of the one-on-one attention a CASA advocate can provide. She explains that foster parents frequently have multiple children to look after and that it’s rare when a child in care receives focused attention. She values her time shared with the children she works with over every other aspect of the job saying, “nothing matters as much as the kids knowing that someone truly cares about only them.”

That’s not to mistake CASA as a mentor position – she breaks down the details of her work including helping to ensure they have regularly scheduled medical and dental appointments, connecting with their teachers and being sure that all resources are explored for extra-curricular activities. In summary, “to contribute to making their lives less chaotic.” In addition to the children she advocates for, Cyd has also invested time in supporting biological mothers trying to get their lives back on track with the goal of reunifying families. This compassionate woman chooses to go above and beyond taking on multiple cases in neighboring Cowlitz County and describes the role as, “the most meaningful work I have ever done in my entire career.”

“If you love kids, want to make a positive difference in the lives of kids that desperately need you, then please please please don’t hesitate to sign up.”

Cyd attributes her confidence as a CASA to the far superior training and administrative support from our local Clark County CASA program. In fact, when researching various programs she felt compelled to relocate to Vancouver to affiliate with our YWCA program. She adds a lack of experience shouldn’t deter anyone from considering the position as our training materials will teach you everything you need to know. Beyond training she’s found that the program is excellent at tailoring assignments to the availability of each CASA volunteer while acknowledging that our volunteer base comes from all walks of life – retirees, full time employees, and parents with children of all ages.

If this inspires you to take action we invite you to join us for a Virtual Information Session to learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer. You are also welcome to contact our Volunteer Recruiter, Gwen Anderson at ganderson@ywcaclarkcounty.org.