Last night was our annual Volunteer Appreciation event, Toast to Success, and what a party to celebrate our OUTSTANDING volunteers! Thank you to all of the court personnel, board members, guests, and volunteers who attended. And congratulations to our Honorees! The hard work you do on behalf of CASA and children in Tulsa County does not go unnoticed. #ToastToSuccess #TulsaCASA
Congratulations to 9 newly sworn-in CASA volunteers and our new Advocate Manager, Jalynn Youngberg! Jalynn has worked with several other CASA programs in Oklahoma, in both staff and volunteer capacities. We are so excited about the impact these 10 people will be making in Tulsa County! #ChangeAChildsStory
Terrie Miller is a Senior Accountant at ONEOK and has been with the company for 21 years. Born and raised in the Tulsa area, Terrie has been involved in many community events. She volunteers often through her company, and has participated in Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, MLK Parade, and Tulsa Area United Way events. She has also volunteered with John 3:16, CAP Tulsa, and through her church.
Terrie went back to college to complete her degree and had a Criminal Justice course where she learned about CASA and how it was started by a judge who was frustrated over making life-changing decisions for children without ever meeting them. Terrie applied to Tulsa CASA and completed training in March 2012.
When Terrie has free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, cooking, and traveling. Her next trip will be to Germany to visit her youngest daughter, who serves at a Church in East Germany with her husband. Her oldest daughter is married with four children, and she also love to spend time with her grandkids every Thursday evening.
What do you enjoy most about being a CASA?
CASA offers Tulsa a chance to give personal value to the kids who are involved in tragic cases not of their own making or control. We are often the only consistent person in their lives, especially when they’re moved several times or assigned to different caseworkers.
My current case has two kids who were placed 3 hours away about 18 months ago. I’ve been able to make the trip every month and have visited them at the lake, at a school choir competition, and at two different foster placements in that area. CASA can see their strengths and is not distracted by bad behavior.
If you’re looking to volunteer in your community, get out of your comfort zone and learn how to use your skills and talents to serve those in need with love.
A Note from her Advocate Manager
For the past three years, Terrie has remained dedicated to her CASA kiddos during 6 placement changes, countless changes in caseworkers and attorneys, and even failed adoptions. Terrie has been with the children longer than any other professional in their foster care journey.
She has committed to seeing them find their forever family—which will finalize any month now. Please join me in congratulating Terrie for her years of hard work and dedication to two very special children and their happy ever after! – Kylee Jenkins
TU Kappa Alpha Theta’s Visit Tulsa CASA
Kappa Alpha Theta at The University of Tulsa started off their work week at Tulsa CASA this morning! Nationally, Theta chapters around the country have supported CASA for over 25 years. Since 2012, the Theta’s at TU have raised more than $60,000 for our organization through on-campus fundraising! They also help with CASA Casino and our Holiday Party each year. We’re thankful to have their support and wish them a great week in recruitment! #TulsaCASAlovesTulsaTheta
Matthew moved to Tulsa two years ago after living his entire life in Los Angeles, CA. His wife Camille came to Tulsa one year prior, and suggested it would be a great place for them to live. Upon becoming a member of the community, Matthew was looking for ways to get involved when his wife suggested that CASA would provide an opportunity to support children in the Tulsa area.
Matthew volunteered at a summer camp for children in foster care during college, and he has also been a Reading Partners tutor for the past two school years. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys reading, cooking, and baseball. Naturally a big Los Angeles Dodgers fan, he loves going to the Drillers games since they are a minor league team for the Dodgers!
Matthew will be starting his first year of law school at the University of Tulsa this month. He attributes his experience as a CASA volunteer to being one of the reasons he decided to apply for and attend law school. We are wishing him great success in his new educational endeavors!
What do you enjoy most about being a CASA?
Before I started volunteering with CASA, I felt as if I was not the right person because of a lack of skills and lack of time. The most meaningful work I do as a CASA is visiting my CASA kids. By jumping in, I realized that I already possessed the skills needed to be a CASA, and I wanted to spend even more time with the children on my case!
I love being a constant in their life while so many other parts of it are up in the air. My responsibility as a CASA is to look out for the best interest of the child. One day, that may mean going to a soccer practice. On another day, it means representing their best interests in court.
CASA provides a way to support children in foster care, and that may make all the difference in their life.
A Note from his Advocate Manager
Matthew currently carries two cases and he does not miss a beat juggling them both. His pleasant, friendly, and helpful demeanor make him successful at establishing rapport with the children and parties on his cases.
The adoptive parents on one of his cases look to Matthew as being a resource for them, and a positive male role model for their children. Being his manager is an absolute pleasure; he is an outstanding volunteer! – Julie Blake
We are overjoyed at the success of our Movie in the Park night at Guthrie Green last Thursday! Our staff was able to sign up new volunteers, raise community awareness, and provide popcorn for movie-goers to snack on. What a crowd! Thank you to everyone who came out for the movie and stopped by our table to chat with our Superhero Staff. We already can’t wait for next year! #MovieintheParkwithTulsaCASA
Audrey came to Tulsa CASA in June 2018 with experience in the Social Work field. As a Theta at the University of Oklahoma, Audrey always loved the mission of CASA and decided to volunteer when the time was right.
She is married to her high school sweetheart and is a mom to their two daughters and one dog. When Audrey is not working on her CASA case, she enjoys working out, reading and traveling with family and friends.
Outside of her work with CASA, Audrey places a high value on community involvement. Prior to moving to Tulsa 3 years ago she was involved in the Edmond Women’s Club, chairing the grant’s committee and serving on the board. She has also served on the Post Adjudication Review Board for child abuse and neglect cases, and loves to volunteer at her children’s school.
What do you enjoy most about being a CASA
I like to say that my responsibility as a CASA is simply recommending what is in the best interest of the child, but to know that means you must visit with the children at school and at home. You get to know the children as well as their caregivers and responsible parties at their school.
Tulsa CASA provides a way to help the children who are in DHS custody. CASA’s ensure that these children are not falling through the cracks, will hopefully not stay in foster care for too long, and get all of the court ordered services they deserve.
A Note from her Advocate Manager
With her professional background, I knew Audrey would be great on her case considering the circumstances. Audrey always has her CASA child’s best interest at heart, and always wants what is best for them.
Audrey is reliable, dependable, trustworthy, and all-around fantastic. I hope to work with her for years to come, as I believe she is one of the best child advocates out there! — Kristen Dake