Friday, Jan 5, 2018
If we ever doubt that CASAs make a difference in the lives of the youth they serve, we would like to share an email that was sent by one of our previous Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), Laurie Ann Santos Weber. Laurie was a South County Child Advocate from 2004 to 2010. During this time, she was a CASA to Alex*. So read on, enjoy and may the year ahead be as bright for all as it seems to be for Alex.
Dear Child Advocates,
Happy New Year! I am so happy to tell you that I am back in touch with my almost 21-year-old foster youth Alex.
He was living up in Reno, where his 9 month old baby daughter and her mother live. He has been clean for more than one year. He is in the process of getting his tattoos removed and really going forward in a very positive way with his life.
His apartment burned to the ground just before Christmas and he lost everything — he made it out with only the clothes on his back. He came back to Gilroy to live with his sister. He contacted me the day after Christmas to ask for help with his resumé. I arranged to pick him up within the hour and we completed a resume that afternoon at a local coffee shop on First Street in Gilroy.
I called a friend who owns a business in Gilroy. Alex was interviewed the next morning, and was hired on the spot at $15 per hour with a four dollar per hour raise when he is done with training.
Alex is over the moon that he will soon be able to bring his baby daughter and girlfriend here from Reno and be able to support them. He loves thinking about being independent again.
Things are really looking up for him, and I’m so happy to be a part of the process.
Reaching out to him as a child cemented the relationship he has with me. When he was in his moments of greatest need, even though many years went by without contact, he reached out to me and I was able to give him a helping hand at just the right time. He felt like he had no one else to turn to, he said, but now he has so much hope for the future.
It has always been such an honor to be an advocate for the CASA organization that does so many good things for these kids. This is one more young person that now has a real shot at a very good future. THANK YOU!
Laurie Ann Santos Weber
Footnote: Child Advocates thanks Laurie for her incredible commitment to the foster children she has served and her ongoing involvement with our agency.
*We've changed Alex's name and photo to protect his privacy.