Terry Yannuzzi works full-time in her family’s business, Rick’s Sheds. But instead of just relaxing when her children started going off to college, Terry began thinking about volunteering to work with children. She saw a CASA ad in the paper, and everything just clicked. This year, she’s celebrating her 20th anniversary as a CASA advocate.
“These kids don’t have a choice about their situation. So I wanted to do something for kids who don’t have an option to change their lives,” Terry explains.
Terry’s current case involves a teenage girl, Alicia, who has significant development delays. Thanks to Terry, Alicia’s behavior problems at school were resolved by adjusting her medication, and Alicia’s pre-adoptive foster mother (Alicia’s twelfth foster home) has received some much-needed encouragement. Terry often finds that working with the biological and foster parents is just as important as being there for the kids. But her favorite part of being a CASA volunteer is spending time with the children.
Terry has served on a total of ten cases; some were drawn out while others were brief. She’s still in touch with the adoptive mom of one little boy, who’s thriving today as an honor roll student and a Boy Scout.
During her tenure, Terry has seen CASA expand the number of children it serves, add services for Chester County, and strengthen its relationships with the other agencies involved in the children’s lives. She’s also seen the increased value the courts place on her work and the CASA advocate’s report.
Even though Terry’s begun scaling back in other areas of her life, she asserts, “CASA’s not one of the things that I plan on giving up.”