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Showing Up Again and Again

Carrie Barron accepts a 2023 Darlene Kamine Advocate of the Year Award.

Carrie Barron became a CASA Volunteer in 2018, after retiring from the legal field. As a long-time employment lawyer, Carrie often worked to empower those who felt disenfranchised by their circumstances. And as a CASA, she’s tapped into that advocacy – providing the children she serves with a sense of agency.

Over the years, we’ve been amazed by Carrie’s generosity. She often serves on more than one case and goes above and beyond by helping ProKids distribute diapers to her fellow volunteers. In five years, she has served 16 children.

For one of them, a teen girl who entered the system under tragic circumstances, Carrie has been a steadfast advocate:

“Mya” was 14 when her grandmother – her primary caregiver – passed. Not long after, she moved in with her boyfriend, became pregnant and gave birth. But her infant died in its very first months.

When Carrie was assigned as her CASA Volunteer, it was obvious this young woman was in pain. So, Carrie advocated for therapy – establishing supportive services for Mya straight away.

Carrie recalls meeting a “bright” and “well-behaved” girl, but she knew a trusting relationship would take time to form. Even so, Carrie never wavered, showing up for Mya month after month and following through no matter what. Because of that consistency, Mya began to confide in Carrie – disclosing, for example, when she was no longer safe in her first foster placement. In response, Carrie worked swiftly to understand the dangers that were present and advocated for Mya to be moved immediately.

In her new foster home, which Carrie describes as warm, welcoming and nurturing, Mya is thriving. With Carrie’s help, she is navigating her final stretch of high school and dreaming of the future. The two even spent a day at a college open house recently!

Carrie is amazed by Mya – her talent as an artist, her interest in anime, and the fact she’s teaching herself Korean. She sees a future for her in video game design or in art. But whatever she chooses for her future, Carrie is proud of her.

She is also proud to be a CASA Volunteer and has this to say about her role:

Carrie embraces CASA Manager Brenda Gray.

“Kids who have been through trauma, and all of these kids have one way or another, need to be able to look to someone who they know is always going to be there for them…

They need to know that when I show up, when a CASA shows up, we are only there to help [and] protect them.”

Time and time again, Carrie has shown her children just that.

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