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
Last night, we hosted the inaugural CASA University event for volunteers to network and learn more about the key components of their role. All in all, it was an overwhelming success! We are so proud of our volunteers and want to thank each of the advocates who were able to attend and help us kick off a new tradition. #CASAU
May AND June!
It’s a BIG day for Tulsa CASA! With all of the rain and flooding in the Tulsa area, our May swearing-in ceremony was delayed. Today, we swore-in both the May and June classes. AND we managed to fit everyone in for a group photo! In total, we have 19 new advocates, our summer intern, and our new advocate manager to congratulate. We’re so happy to officially welcome you all! 🎉
Event at Guthrie Green
We are thrilled to officially announce our 2019 Recruitment Event: Movie in the Park with Tulsa CASA! Join us on July 11th for a fun evening at Guthrie Green. Captain Marvel is showing on the big-screen in the park and you can meet Tulsa CASA staff and volunteers, as well as receive more information about how you can become a Court Appointed Special Advocate for a child in foster care.
Invite your family and friends and come say hello! Get there early to find a good seat, have dinner and hangout. Food trucks will be available thanks to the Greater Tulsa Association of REALTORS and Tulsa CASA staff members will be handing out popcorn for the movie. Pre-party starts at 6:30!
Ashley Ailey became a Tulsa CASA volunteer in March 2018. After reading Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter and being moved by her story, Ashley decided that she wanted to help children in foster care and provide a voice for them; it just so happens that Ashley Rhodes-Courter was our CASA Casino guest speaker that same year!
Before CASA, Ashley Ailey volunteered with Girl Scouts and Reading Partners. Ashley enjoys being a CASA volunteer because she is able to work with the same child until their case closes, while gathering information from the caseworkers, foster parents, biological parents, and other service providers to determine the best interest of the child.
Ashley works as a family law paralegal, and was recently accepted into the Law program at the University of Tulsa. She and her husband have two daughters, as well as two Labradors.
When she is not working, attending classes, or visiting her CASA child, Ashley’s children keep her busy with their sports schedules—especially softball! She and her husband also love college football, and although they are both OSU alumni, he roots for OU while she loves OSU.
Ashley, thank you for everything that you do on behalf of Tulsa CASA. Your passion for helping children in foster care does not go unnoticed, and we are lucky to have you as an advocate for children in Tulsa County!
“Tulsa CASA offers children a person who is involved in their case from beginning to end. A person who is not associated with DHS, the ADA, or the child’s attorney. A person who is solely there for their best interest. These children are the future of our community; giving them the supports they need to be successful is extremely vital.” – Ashley Ailey
A Note from her Advocate Manager
Ashley is a tremendously hardworking advocate who is wholeheartedly devoted to her CASA children. She has a very full schedule with work, being a wife and mother, and starting law school in July; yet she still makes time to focus on a teenager and three young children each month in order to be a voice for them as they experience the uncertainty of foster care.
As a new Advocate Manager with Tulsa CASA, it has been a pleasure to work with such a dedicated volunteer!
– Cheryl Wright