Volunteer Stories

Tisa Baena

Tisa is appointed to 3 year-old and 1 year-old brothers. Before Tisa arrived, the case had been open for more than a year with little progress. There have been many challenges working with these young boys; both have delays and issues that require extra support and services. Tisa has persistently followed up on getting answers to questions about the boys' services. She has requested applications and researched therapeutic daycare for the older boy. She placed an order with Cradles to Crayons when there was a need for clothing and toy donations. Tisa has enjoyed spending leisure time with the children, playing games, going to the park and engaging in other community outings such as visiting the Please Touch Museum. Tisa has testified in court to the best interests for the children. Her biggest challenge was when the children’s birth mother began making violent threats toward the foster mother at her home. Tisa immediately called all of the involved parties on the case and informed them about the escalating situation. With the assistance of her CASA supervisor, all parties formed a plan to advocate for the safety of the foster family. Tisa is doing an outstanding job advocating for her CASA children.

Dionne Graves

Dionne became interested in CASA at our first Superhero Walk where she met a friendly CASA volunteer who explained CASA's role and how much she enjoyed being a volunteer. Dionne explored CASA further, completed pre-service training in the spring 2014 and became a volunteer. She currently has two cases, one that involves a teenage boy who was abandoned by his mother. Without having Dionne as a maternal figure in his life, the teenager stated that he would feel down and alone. Dionne's other case involves a teenage girl. Dionne was appointed as her Educational Decision Maker (EDM), and is helping to make a positive impact on her life. Outside of her CASA volunteer work, Dionne has been manager at a radiation therapy department for 16 years. Dionne has two daughters and a granddaughter, with whom she loves to spend her free time.

 

 

Charlinder Stoman-Korbingo

Charlinder advocates for four children who have a lot of special needs and, while their family loves them, they aren’t currently able to give the kids what they need. Charlinder’s excellent advocacy is making a huge difference! Shortly after her first visit to see the kids, she was in court with attorneys, caseworkers, and judges all wanting to know what CASA thought should happen. Charlinder was able to confirm some concerns that others were already having about the kids’ current foster home and an order was made allowing the kids to move to a more stable foster home. Charlinder attends supervised visits between the children and their mom, checks in on their school progress and, most importantly, is building strong relationships with each child. Because of her consistency and care, the children are really opening up to her, sharing their joys and hurts. That trust is a privilege that Charlinder does not take lightly, and it motivates her to work hard to provide the best advocacy possible for this family.

 

Michelle Golden

Michelle became a CASA volunteer in Spring 2014 and was appointed to 3 boys in a case involving ten siblings. When Michelle met the boys they were very polite and interested in sharing their many interests with her. Their foster mother, who has become a great resource for Michelle, also had concerns about the boys and their lack of guidance. Michelle’s biggest concern was the boys’ educational needs were not being met.  All three boys were not reading on grade level and were at least two grade levels behind. Michelle has been making her way through various channels with the advice of the Education Law Center and, though she has hit some road blocks and has gotten frustrated at times, she continues to advocate for the boys’ educational needs. With persistence, patience and determination, Michelle is learning how to be a great advocate, working hard for what is in the best interest of the boys in her CASA case.