Allan Shropshire joined ProKids just over 15 years ago, serving seven children in his time as a CASA Volunteer.
In his current case, Allan was handpicked by the former CASA, Diane Custer, to take over her role of advocating for a 17-year-old boy.
As this young man transitioned into adulthood, Diane felt he would benefit from a male CASA and role model.
Since, Allan has stepped into this role with enthusiasm, deftly navigating the case’s many ups and downs. And to a young man transitioning from a life in residential treatment to one of independence — Allan has been an essential resource.
The two first met when Diane introduced them over a game of chess.
Allan learned that “Jeremiah” had grown up in the child protection system. He lived in 10 different foster placements before moving on to residential treatment. Due to severe trauma, his behaviors and outbursts led to a long string of placements. But ProKids stayed alongside him, ensuring he felt consistency through his Advocacy Team.
As his CASA, Allan attended Jeremiah’s high school graduation and watched him move into semi-independent living.
The goal with Jeremiah – in contrast to cases where we’re working with younger children – was to help him develop some life skills.
Bringing burger fixings to his residential treatment facility, Allan taught him the fundamentals of cooking.
Later, he gave Jeremiah an introduction to the bus system. And initially, the boy was hesitant, sluggishly following Allan through the transit center. Staring at a long line of buses, he shared with Allan that the last time he saw his mother — at the age of 7 — was in this same setting.
It was an emotional moment, but with his CASA there to support him, he was ready.
Allan got him a bus pass, showed him where to board, and spoke with the driver to ensure he’d find his stop.
When he finally boarded the bus, “it was almost like him stepping over the precipice,” Allan said.
When Allan called later, asking how the trip went, Jeremiah quickly mustered a sense of panic. “What do you mean?” he said. “I’m still on the bus. I never got off.”
Before Allan could respond, the boy laughed. Of course, he was kidding.
A strong rapport grew from their frequent interactions — and between fishing together, volunteering with The Rotary Club and visiting local museums, Allan helped this young man grow, learn and experience new things.
Later, Allan even helped him shadow a mechanic at a local garage and got him into a great summer job.
But it isn’t always smooth sailing.
In his transition from the total structure of residential treatment to the relative freedom of semi-independent living, he has struggled to maintain motivation – quitting his job after just a few paychecks.
Despite the challenges, Allan is persistent, working to instill in Jeremiah a sense of responsibility.
Meanwhile, Allan is coordinating with employees at his semi-independent living setting. Together, they plan to connect Jeremiah to a temp agency and provide consistent transportation to a future job placement.
Of course, Allan is fielding objections.
Interested exclusively in staying up late to play video games, the teen is worried a job will interfere. But Allan is flexible, helping him to look for jobs that align with his sleep schedule.
A superb advocate, Allan is relentless in his quest to keep this young man focused on success. ProKids thanks Allan for being a consistent, powerful voice for our children.