Take a moment and try to remember why you are here, volunteering your time.
What did you list on your CASA application as the reason you wanted to become a CASA? Most people say that they want to make a difference in a child’s life. To be a voice for a child in need. Sometimes you might wonder... am I doing any good? Is anyone listening? Does anyone notice?
Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is what we do as CASAs.
How children “feel” actually affects their brain. Think back to your first grade year. What do you remember? Do you remember the day you learned to spell cat or how your teacher made you feel? Do you remember how your classmates treated you? Were you accepted or teased?
Relationships are a basic need for children. When a child’s basic needs are met, the child feels free to explore the world and develop. Who are the people in your child-client’s life? Ask yourself, how can I make a difference for this child or these children? Consistent adult relationships have been shown to improve youth's self-esteem, behavior, and academic performance. The research even shows that it is better for a child to develop an attachment and break it, than to not develop an attachment at all.
Whether your CASA visit is spent helping with homework, playing catch, or just listening, these moments can have an enormous, lasting effect on a child's life. Remember that you are there for the child. You are making a difference, whether you realize it right now or not. They will remember how YOU made them feel!