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“Giving Children a Voice”

Jill Baker Braun began volunteering at ProKids as a CASA Volunteer in 2010 because, she said,  “I could no longer look away.”shutterstock_73989721 - Copy

“I knew that we had a challenge in our community and I’ve been privileged to serve nine different children since I began as a CASA Volunteer,” Jill says. “I do it because I can give forgotten children like Jasmine a voice.

Jasmine has been surrounded with violence.

Her mother was accused of stabbing her father.

And the 4-year-old had been terribly neglected. She hadn’t been to the doctor and didn’t have any immunizations.

She hadn’t been to the dentist and ended up needing teeth pulled as well as needing crowns.

She hadn’t been to preschool and wasn’t ready for kindergarten.

The mother, who has had three other children removed from her care, was not cooperating with any services.

As a CASA Volunteer, getting to know Jasmine and what she needs has been Jill’s primary focus. “We enjoy one another’s company,” Jill says. “She sees me interact with her mother, her father and with a babysitter who she knows well. She knows that I get along with everyone. That’s not something she sees all the time.”

Jill and the rest of the ProKids team isn’t yet sure what is going to happen to Jasmine. But, Jill says, “I know we will get her where she needs to be. In big ways and small ways, we make sure that children are safe and secure. Whether it’s getting her registered for kindergarten or laughing over a book, we really make a difference.”

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