My morning alarm goes off, I sit up in bed and as my feet hit the floor I know whether I am ready to take on the day or if it is going to be a struggle. As I start my way downstairs, I begin to think about what is on my “plate” for the day. Appointments, meetings, reports, phone calls, etc. Is the day going to be typical, special or challenging? Is it a “mission impossible day” or one “full of possibilities?” I learned early on my journey with CASA that it was better if I chose to start my day with a positive outlook because most days the mission of CASA felt impossible.
I was really naïve about the plight of children, the struggles families faced and the dysfunction of the system when I joined the CASA staff 15 years ago. Newborn babies were being placed in foster care, teenagers were running from it and some children were dying before the state intervened. At times, it felt like things were happening at lightning speed in system that was cumbersome, confusing and wound tightly in red tape. Early on, I remember sitting at my desk feeling overwhelmed, disillusioned and defeated and then I met our CASA volunteers and all that changed.