Wednesday, July 30, 2014

CASA Spotlight- Leonora Corbo

This week we are featuring Leonora Corbo as our CASA spotlight of the week! Leonora has been an active CASA for our organization for the past 6 years. Leonora continues to have an impact on each of her cases, making each of her relationships a memorable one. Leonora has done an outstanding job for Advocates for Children, and we have been so grateful to have her. We would just like to thank Leonora for all the hard work she has done for our organization. Thank you Leonora for all your hard work!

Why did you become a CASA?
I always wanted to have children in my life. I had two children and was a preschool teacher. When I retired I wanted to be part of children's lives and to have them be part of mine. CASA was the perfect fit! 

How long have you been a CASA for?  How many cases have you taken?
I have been a CASA since August 27, 2008. I have had 5 cases since I became a CASA. 

Favorite CASA story or moment?
Recently, while at a MacDonald's playground, my husband and I were watching our two CASA children play with another children. They were running from him pretending he was going to attack them. They hid behind us, yelling: "You cannot harm us! We are behind our protectors, they will not let anything happen to us".

Favorite quote?
“If not now... When?"

Who is the most influential person in your life?  
The most influential person in my life would have to be my mother.  

Favorite Children’s book?
“Hansel and Gretel" -Brothers Grimm

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. 

We are so lucky to be able to add Leonora to our long list of amazing and life-changing CASA volunteers! We cannot thank you enough for all the work you have done for Advocates for Children.Thank you Leonora for being an amazing CASA!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

CASA Spotlight- Valerie Etchepare

We are excited to announce that Valerie Etchepare is our CASA spotlight of the week. We asked Valerie a little bit about her experience as a CASA and also asked a couple questions that let us get to know a little more about her. Valerie has truly been a wonderful asset to our organization and we are so lucky to have her. Thank you Valerie for everything you continue to do for CASA!

Why did you become a CASA?
I have always wanted to work with children. As we started the adoption process of our son, I felt a pull to help more kids than I could adopt. I found a blog post about CASA and researched it and felt it would be a good way to give back and help kids in the foster care system. 

How long have you been a CASA for?  How many cases have you taken?
I have been a CASA since May 2011. I have worked on 2 CASA cases. 

Favorite CASA story or moment?
This is a hard question. I have had 2 extraordinary sets of CASA kids. I have been a part of many sibling visits as on both cases, my sibling groups were split. I think watching my current CASA kids and how they light up when they get that precious time with their brothers is priceless and my favorite. Watching my girls grow and heal as they have found their voice and support through my current CASA case has been amazing. These kids have been through so much and they have such strength. I am honored to be a part of their journey. 

Favorite quote?
“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”

“We can change the world and make a difference.  It is in your hands to make a difference.”  
- Nelson Mandela

Unless people like you care a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It is not.”  
- Dr. Suess (The Lorax)

Who is the most influential person in your life?  
My grandma, she is one of the strongest ladies I know; and she is honest and funny.  

Favorite Children’s book?
“Oh the Places You’ll Go” Dr. Suess


We are lucky to be able to add Valerie to our long list of amazing and life-changing CASA volunteers! Thanks for all that you have done for so many people, Valerie, and we know that you will continue to make a positive influence on many more individuals!

Friday, June 27, 2014

CASA Spotlight- Donna Rood


This week we have the honor of featuring are truly spectacular CASA, Donna Rood. She has done such an amazing job, since her start in 2007.We are so thankful to have her, and appreciate all the work she has done for this organization. Thank you Donna for everything you have and continue to do!

Why did I become a CASA?
I knew that children have been neglected and abused for a long time.  However, I was shocked to see how many needed CASAs and we're able to monitor their well-being and make life more enjoyable for them.  Being a child should be a wonderful experience, and should be lived happily, not in fear.  I realize too, that this will probably be a life-long relationship.  

How long have I been a CASA?
I was appointed as a CASA in November 2007.

How many cases have I had?
I've had one case ... my first.  I began with a family of 5 children.  After completing the course of study, I was offered a couple of options, but I knew that taking on 5 children would be difficult to fill.  So I gathered up my courage and took it on.  What a blessing it has been.  Over the course of my time with them, some have become adopted, others are in the process of being adopted, and some will never be adopted.   It's been wonderful watching them grow over the years.

My favorite CASA story?
There have been so many fun stories, but the one that touched my heart was when the children had been unsuccessfully placed with a family member out of state, and they were sent back into the system here in Colorado.  The caseworker told me that I was the first person they asked to see.  It's been fulfilling to see all of them finally succeed in school and in life situations as they grow older.  It hasn't been easy, but I knew that deep down they really wanted to do well.  One of my goals is to keep the siblings in contact with each other and thus far, it has been successful.  They look forward to their time together since they're all in different locations.

Favorite quote?
Has to be from Mother Teresa; a woman of great understanding and endless love of everyone.
"Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love".

Most influential person?
The most influential people in my life would probably have to be my parents. As I was raising my own children, so often my parent’s words came out of my mouth.  It's a common thought that as you grow older, you realize that your parents really did know more, and they were most of the time right. I want my CASA kiddos to have the same good values when they become parents, and stop the cycle of neglect and abuse.

Favorite children's book?
Has to be "The Little Engine That Could'.  I had this book as a child, my children had this book, and now my grandsons have this book.

What did I want to be when I grew up?
Teaching was my favorite game to play.  Although, I did not get become a teacher, I have been able to reach children in varying situations ... religious education, homework, and talking to my kiddos about ordinary life situations that they have questions about.  I never thought I would end up as an accountant.

Anything else you would like us to know? 
I'm flattered that CASA would like to 'spotlight' me.  Being a CASA has now become just a part of my life - my extended family.  We talk about successes and shortcomings just like a parent would to their own child.  They know they can tell me anything, and I praise them for their successes and try resolving shortcomings.


Thank you for everything you have done for Advocates for Children. We are so grateful to have you. Thank you Donna for all your hard work!





Thursday, June 19, 2014

CASA Spotlight- Mara Lynn

This week we are featuring Mara Lynn as our CASA spotlight of the week. We are so thrilled to introduce Mara, and her experience as a CASA.  Mara has had an amazing impact on advocates for children, and we are so happy to have her on our team. Thank you Mara for all your hard work, it is greatly appreciated!

1.) Why did you become a CASA?
I became a CASA because I wanted to volunteer in a meaningful way.  Abused and neglected children need as much help as they can get, so I decided to volunteer with Advocates4Children.

2.) How long have you been a CASA for? How many cases have you taken?
I have been a CASA for just over 9 months.  My training was in the summer of 2013 and I received my first case in September of 2013.The case I have now is the only case I have taken so far (2 little girls).

3.) Favorite CASA story or moment?
Around Christmas time, one of my CASA kiddos who had just turned 3 years old read me the book of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.  She looked at the pictures and told me what was happening in the story, which was her own story based on the pictures.  She told me about a big dinner and the mama saying “we can’t eat till we say our prayers”, in addition to the little girl who could not sleep because she was thirsty.  It was very touching to me to interpret the pages from an innocent 3 year old mindset.

4.) Favorite quote?
“Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better”. –Maya Angelou

5.) Who is the most influential person in your life?
The most influential person in my life is my Grandma.  She has always been kind and caring to me and she tells me how proud she is of my accomplishments every time I talk to her.  She encourages me and goes out of her way to make me feel comfortable.  I completely respect her position as she has been on this earth for 84 years and has become very wise.

6.) Favorite Children’s book?
My favorite Children’s book is Where the Wild Things Are.

7.) When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a child thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wanted to be an FBI Special Agent.  I am a Project Manager now and those childhood dreams still linger in my mind


Thank you for all that you have done for so many people, Mara, and we know that you will continue to make a positive influence on many more individuals! Thank you Mara for all your hard work!




Monday, May 19, 2014

CASA Spotlight- Shondra Ray

We are excited to announce that Shondra Ray is our CASA spotlight of the week. Shondra has done an amazing job, and has truly been a positive force in each of her cases. We asked Shondra a little bit about her experience as a CASA and a few questions that let us get to know a little more about her. Here is what Shondra had to say:

Why did you become a CASA?
1.   I became a CASA because it was my answer from God. After surviving 4 brain surgeries and a host of other medical challenges, I continuously asked God "what was my purpose for being here". I believe in my heart and was always taught that we MUST care for our elderly, young and those who are unable to care for themselves.  After much prayer over many months, I received an email from Jaime Weibel regarding an upcoming training session with Advocates for Children to become a CASA. Two years prior, Advocates for Children had set up a recruitment booth at my church, CCC.  I feel our children are caught up in these unfortunate situations by no fault of their own and they so deserve to have a VOICE and someone to be THERE just for THEM and their BEST interests.        

How long have you been a CASA for?  How many cases have you taken?
2.   I have been a CASA now for only 15 months but it feels like so much longer because finally I've found what truly brings me happiness. I have had two cases. 

Favorite CASA story or moment? 
3.  The day I met Mario, my current case.

Favorite quote? 
4.   Philippians 4:13: "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me"

Who is the most influential person in your life?
5. My mother has definitely been the most influential person in my life. I lost my mom on May 20, 2010 as I lay recovering from my 2nd  brain surgery and although she has “changed addresses”; her spirit, words of wisdom, and encouragement through the years continues to remain with me. I continue to be inspired everyday by what my Dear Mother has taught me.

Favorite Children’s book?
6.   "You Are Special" by Max Lucado.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
7. I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up.


We are lucky to be able to add Shondra to our long list of amazing and life-changing CASA
volunteers! Thanks for all that you have done for so many people, Shondra,  and we know that you will continue to make a positive influence on many more individuals!





Wednesday, May 14, 2014

CASA Spotlight- Marina Logachev

Marina has been a CASA for a couple of years and has done an amazing job for this organization. Marina has gone above and beyond in each of her cases, making a positive impact on everybody involved. Here is what Marina had to say about her experience as a CASA:

How long have you been a CASA for?  How many cases have you taken?
1.   I have been a CASA since November 2012. So far, I have only been on two cases.        

Why did you become a CASA?
2.   I wanted to find a volunteer opportunity where I could really connect with a person one on one; become a mentor and a friend. I have always believed that you can make the biggest impact on someone's character and way of thinking where he/she is young. I wanted to show these children and teens that at least one person out there cares about them and wants to guide them through difficult times, especially when they cannot count on their families or the system for support. 

Favorite CASA story or moment? 
3.   My first CASA teen was incredibly intelligent and wanted to become an astrophysicist. When we went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science it was incredibly rewarding to see how excited she got about the incredible world of knowledge and science. I think seeing a Planetarium show inspired her even more to pursue this career path.       

Favorite quote? 
4.   "People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." - Isaac Asimov.     

Who is the most influential person in your life?
5.   My grandmother, who passed away over 10 years ago. She, more or less, raised me and shaped much of how I think and perceive the world right now.

Favorite Children’s book?
6.   So many; mostly Russian (since I grew up in St. Petersburg) – The Wizard of Emerald City, which is a version of the Wizard of Oz but with about 8 different books in the series.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
7.   Better question is “what did I not want to be?” I think I felt that I could do anything. At one point I wanted to be an astronaut and a school principal. I think I could still try to be one of those!

We are lucky to be able to add Marina to our long list of amazing and life-changing CASA
volunteers! Thanks for all that you have done for so many people, Marina,  and we know that you will continue to make a positive influence on many more individuals!





Wednesday, May 7, 2014

CASA- Book Drive

Please donate new or very gently used books to Advocate for Children, a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) program. All books can be dropped off Monday thru Friday from 9am- 3pm at the Advocates for Children office located at 10855 E. Bethany Dr. Suite 200 Aurora, Co 80014. For more information please contact the Advocates for Children at (303) 695-1882.

All donations are welcome! We hope that together we can create a library where CASAs have the opportunity to build a stronger bond with their CASA kids! Join us in making this wish come true.  

We would also like to thank everyone that has donated books so far! We really appreciate all the involvement and support you have given towards our book drive. THANK YOU!