ProKids Executive Director Tracy Cook: Along with ProKids CASA Managers and attorneys, I have the joy of seeing CASAs’ energy, imagination, and commitment: the energy to become a CASA and take action on behalf of our children, the imagination of a better life for our children, and the commitment to see things through, no matter how difficult. One example: Janet’s efforts to ensure Alexa’s stability.
Someone – she never knew who – funded her return to school. She never forgot the power of that gesture.
Eight years ago, at ProKids, she knew she’d found a way to make a difference for others.
In that time she has served 8 families and 15 children.
She says she has seen how ProKids can help children who don’t have loving, stable childhoods.
“None of us have a say in who we are born to,” Janet says.
For example, there’s the teen girl who we will call Alexa.
Pretty with light brown hair, Alexa had been in a home which was chaotic and unstructured.
At 12, her older “boyfriends” would stay overnight. She had been assaulted by her alcoholic biological mother and had started using drugs.
She was removed from the home and placed with a foster parent who talked regularly with Janet.
The teen could be very belligerent and hard to connect with because of her trauma. But Janet made sure Alexa knew she was in her corner, working closely with her foster parent to keep her placement intact through Alexa’s high school graduation and until her emancipation.
Janet said she knows ProKids will not stop advocating for children like Alexa until they have stability in their lives. “That’s why I am a CASA Volunteer,” Janet says. “We really can make a difference.”