For her very first case, Ana chose one involving a teenage girl that had actually requested a CASA in court. Although everyone assumed the teen wanted an advocate to act as a mentor, it turns out she was actually looking for someone she could manipulate into buying gifts for her and provide excuses for her poor decisions. There are many words that would accurately describe Ana, but pushover isn’t one of them. From the beginning, Ana has been dedicated and determined to positively influence this young lady.
Rebellion and acting out led the teen into juvenile detention, and later to a residential treatment center. Ana did not let these developments deter her in any way, and visited the teen at the center several times before she was transferred out of the area. Ana then faced the obstacles of distance as well as anger from the young lady who blamed her situation on everyone else. Ana gently but firmly told her that the situation was a direct result of the girls own actions. Ana persistently called the girl who frequently cursed then hung up. Ana, however, never gave up, and continued calling several times a week. Even though the the young lady refused or speak on the phone, Ana continued calling simply to reinforce the idea that she was not giving up on her.
Ana’s persistence paid off when the day came when the girl called Ana saying she just wanted to talk. They had a lengthy conversation that left Ana feeling as though she were finally getting through. In the months since then, this once rebellious teen now calls her CASA Advocate regularly to share successes, ask advice, and thank her for her support. Once combative and quick to blame others, this young lady now takes responsibility for her future and is working to get out of the RTC and back into a foster placement.
Thank you, Ana, for never giving up on your CASA kiddo, and instilling in her a sense of trust and belief in herself. You are a perfect example of how one determined advocate can change the course of a young life.
From all of us at CASA, congratulations!