Thursday, Mar 9, 2017
by Tori Votino
On a bright fall day in 2013, I was walking through the main part of my campus at UC Santa Cruz. A lot of different groups and organizations were tabling that day and one particular table was labeled “CASA of Santa Cruz County.” I was curious to know what the acronym “CASA” stood for, so I stopped by the table to hear what it was all about! Once I learned how amazing the organization is and how many different counties have a CASA organization, I decided I wanted to get involved in this wonderful cause that provides volunteers to serve as friends, mentors and advocates to children in foster care. I was too young to actually be an advocate, but I wanted to help in any way that I could.
I started volunteering in the beautiful donated house that is the main location for CASA of Santa Cruz County while I was still in school. Once I graduated, I decided I would like to do something similar back home in Silicon Valley. Child Advocates of Silicon Valley welcomed me aboard and now I help around the office with administrative tasks.
This past year, I was crowned Miss Santa Clara. My platform is all about supporting under-served youth like foster children. I was honored to attend Child Advocates’ Spring Event on March 25th and assist with announcing the drawing winners.
CASA is wonderful because everyone, especially a child, needs someone else to look out for them and their best interests. This organization helps to set foster children on successful paths that they may not have experienced otherwise. These children are the future and CASA helps to make their future a brighter one.