1. What made you decide to become a CASA?
When I was choosing an organization to support I looked for one that had an immediate need for volunteers, provided direct help to people and could possibly make a difference in the long run. Through CASA I was able to fill an immediate need for an Advocate and make an impact in a child’s life with the hope that they would have a brighter future.
2. What is your professional/volunteer background?
I retired after 32 years with Lockheed Martin. During that time, I volunteered at Union Gospel Mission, coached youth sports and supported activities at my children’s schools.
3. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a CASA?
I would tell them that they will be gaining a child's trust and for that reason they need to be committed to completing their case.
4. What has been the most challenging part of being a CASA?
The most challenging thing has been to get my children to focus on their future. I emphasize the importance of doing well in school and respecting others. I have learned that it can be a slow process, but the progress is encouraging.
5. What has been the most rewarding part of being a CASA?
The rewards come when you see the children start responding to your advice and you see that the time you have spent with them is making a difference.
6. Please share a special moment with us about your advocacy work with your CASA kid or on your case.
When my child made a point to introduce me to others as their CASA Advocate or when they told their caseworker that I was their favorite person on their case. I have also had an opportunity to apply TBRI principles in a real case scenario that had positive results.
7. Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself or the CASA experience?
When I became a CASA Advocate and experienced the good work being done by CASA and the CASA staff, I wanted to help with recruiting additional volunteers. I got involved in Co-Hosting Info Sessions and became a Men of CASA Ambassador. I share the CASA experience with everyone I know in the hopes that they will also get involved.
"Jay Wilson has been an advocate for over a year, and in that time has made an everlasting impact on the children that he has served. Jay’s positive involvement on the cases has been noticed by judges, attorneys and other legal parties to the cases. Jay continues to serve CASA through other ways by attending three weeks of Camp STRIDE this summer, leading informational sessions, and being a strong asset to the Men of CASA team. Jay exemplifies what it truly means to be a CASA, and has devoted numerous days and hours to advocate for the children in Tarrant County."—Child Advocacy Specialist Alex Nameth