When Gaye and two friends heard about the tragic deaths of two children at the hands of their mother and stepmother in 2010, each friend committed to her own way of helping abused and neglected children. Gaye chose CASA Youth Advocates because of our extensive training and support.
After her training and swearing in, Gaye committed to two cases for which she still advocates. Over seven years, she’s seen lots of people come and go in her CASA kids’ lives, but Gaye’s been there through it all and helps new people get up to speed faster. She believes this constancy is a crucial aspect of her role as a CASA volunteer.
In one case, Gaye serves as the Educational Decision Maker for a severely traumatized young girl, Heaven, whose behaviors had undermined most of her foster care placements. Even the good-hearted educators at Heaven’s school were ready to recommend institutionalizing her until Gaye could shift the team back to a problem-solving mindset. Currently living with her grandmother, Heaven is now a freshman in high school thanks to Gaye’s persistent advocacy and diligence in locating a school that would be a good fit.
In her other case, Gaye advocates for James, a little boy born with severe neurological damage. Cared for by an excellent team, James is thriving in a medical group home. He’s even learning to see by retraining the connection between his eyes and his brain using an iPad CASA secured for him.
“Through CASA, any person can come along and train and make a real, meaningful difference in the life of a child,” Gaye asserts. “I had no background in this. But with training and support, I have been a very effective CASA.”