In 2013, ProKids honored an incredible volunteer for her dedication to our mission. Now, in 2021, we honor her again.
Mimi Dyer became a CASA Volunteer in 2010, and in the decade since, she has served 11 children.
Through these years, Mimi has become a staple in the ProKids office, giving of her time and talent through office work, filing, database entry, fundraising efforts, indirect and direct advocacy for our children.
She has earned her reputation as a familiar and helpful face in the ProKids office.
Today, she is a CASA Volunteer to two children, ages 5 and 6. ProKids was assigned to these children when an aunt filed for custody due to a concern of neglect.
And while their mother struggles with depression, Mimi said that she’s a good person with the potential to be a great parent.
For these children, advocacy means maintaining a patient and watchful presence — ensuring both children are safe and happy in their mother’s home.
But Mimi also knows what it means to be a fierce and active advocate.
When Mimi met Levi, he was 14.
Levi’s mother passed away when he was just 8 years old. After her death he went to live with his mother’s best friend. At first, the arrangement was successful, but in time, Levi’s behavior became reflective of his trauma. And the best friend couldn’t keep up.
As a teen, he was placed in a facility with the potential to truly address his trauma. But even with treatment adapted specifically to his behavioral and psychological needs, he was kicked out of the program and was placed in a group home.
Eventually, Mimi and her CASA Manager would find a loved one to welcome him. And soon, he left the group home for life with his Aunt Betsy.
Mimi says Aunt Betsy is a strong-willed and supportive woman, but Betsy wasn’t always an effective advocate for Levi. She knew what Levi needed, but her protective nature could often lead to anger.
Yet, she placed her trust in Mimi.
Due to a history of learning disabilities and behavioral problems, the high school he planned to attend insisted he’d be better suited to a separate program.
While Aunt Betsy’s instinct was outrage, in a meeting with teachers and administrators, Mimi was able to outline exactly what Levi needed to succeed. She was clear and commanding: it was the school’s responsibility to provide accommodations.
Isolation from his peers was not necessary to pursue an education — and in fact, Mimi feared it would be detrimental.
As a result of her advocacy, the young man was accepted into the high school.
And while educational outcomes for children in foster care can be bleak, Levi went on to graduate and is attending college in Louisville! Just recently, Aunt Betsy called to share some news: Levi was still on track to graduate with a degree in marine biology.
As someone who thrives on connection, Mimi prioritizes her relationships — not just with the children she serves, but with their professional and family supports. To do so, she brings honesty to interactions, but she also remains approachable and optimistic.
When a baby she served was born with a drug addiction, Mimi withheld judgement. But at one visit, the baby’s mother became aggressive — accusing her family of stealing the baby.
Mimi remained calm and reminded the mother of the facts: that the baby was born in harm’s way, but that no one had disqualified her as a mother — that ultimately, it was still in her power to get her baby back. Mimi urged her to move forward, promising that her world would get bigger — making room for more people —each day that she fought the addiction. And the mother appreciated Mimi’s sincerity.
By reframing her experience in these terms — and by extending grace to a woman who had suffered —Mimi hoped to encourage progress. Yes, abuse and neglect does occur, but for Mimi, it’s simply “not the end of the story.” Instead, it is an opportunity to educate, to reach for better and to empower families and children to find a way forward.
Involved in nearly every aspect of the organization — as an ambassador of our mission and an advocate on behalf of our children — Mimi is a champion for kids.
We share stories of our children so that our community can understand why ProKids depends on a mobilized community. We change the names of the children, and often of the adults involved, and use stock photos out of respect for their dignity and privacy. The stories themselves, however, are true.