Tonisha continues to go above and beyond with her CASA case. She was sworn in as a CASA advocate in May 2017, and was immediately thrown into a case that was in desperate need of an advocate. Tonisha attended two parent child visits every week, went to every doctor appointment for the child and advocated for her child in every court hearing. She has maintained strong relationships with CPS, attorneys, biological parents, foster parents and most importantly, her CASA child. Tonisha has been instrumental in determining the permanency for this child, and has demonstrated what a CASA truly is. – Alex Nameth, Child Advocacy Specialist
1. What made you decide to become a CASA?
I was considering returning to school to receive my Masters in Social Work.
2. What is your professional/ volunteer background?
Currently employed at Bank of America, where I am an Investor Accounting Analyst.
Through my employer, I have the opportunity to volunteer with different organizations. Outside of the workplace, I mentor teenage girls in the Delta GEMS program implemented by my Sorority educational development program. Volunteer in the church nursery working with the 5-6 year old.
3. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a CASA?
Make sure you are ready to commit and have a work/life balance.
4. What has been the most challenging part of being a CASA?
Witnessing parents that believe the court system is against them.
5. What has been the most rewarding part of being a CASA?
Seeing and knowing your kid is placed in a loving environment and surrounded by a village of supportive and wonderful people.
6. Please share a special moment with us about your advocacywork with your CASA kid or on your case?
Being present to see the child celebrate his first birthday.
7. Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself or the CASA experience?
It will change your perspective about life and you will realize the little things we stress about are not worth it because a child and/or parent situation may be worse than ours.