Having a CASA worker is like having a best friend who you can trust in the time of pain and distress.

My CASA worker, Emily Schroeder, was there for my brother and me when no one else was.  Emily was there when we fought our biggest struggles in foster care.  She inspired us both when we felt most uninspired.

Throughout our experience in foster care, Emily motivated my brother and me in every aspect of being successful.  She motivated us both to keep our grades up and stay in school.  She also motivated us to dig deep within to overcome our toughest emotions.

When my brother and I first met our CASA worker, Emily Schroeder, we were at our first foster home in Lexington, Texas.  We received a message that someone was there to see us.  We both thought that it was someone coming to tell us more bad news.  This put more stress on us both.  Until this day, I can remember Emily coming into our room with a great big smile, encouraging us to be successful.  This gave us a high level of confidence.  From that day on, my brother and I overcame our challenges and achieved many things.  We are both currently making all As and Bs and are exempt from all our semester exams, and we are in a much lower level of care.

Frequently, Emily puts her personal life on hold to see that the needs of her CASA children are met.

Reaching out to other foster care youth is one of my greatest concerns, especially those who do not have a CASA worker.  My CASA worker helped me get into activities and take leadership roles.  I am an annual participant in PAL Camp Independence.  My CASA worker introduced this to me.

I also participated in the 2003 PEAKS Adventure Camp, which allowed me to make some discoveries about myself.  Throughout this camp, I demonstrated my strengths and the power I have within.  Emily’s motivations and her encouragements helped my brother Lerrion become very active in the Youth Leadership Committee conferences.  He is also a peer leader participant in the PEAKS adventure camp.  There he motivates and encourages others.  He is also the youth representative for foster you in our region.  He flies in and out of the state to better the Texas foster care system and improve youths’ rights, visitation rights, the chain of command in case of problem, PAL activities, PAL benefits, and implementing the recommendations made oat the Texas Teen Conference.  Emily inspired my brother to be active and successful.   Through his achievements, my brother inspired me to stand up and take pride in being in foster care.  Now, I want to take the role of my older brother and be an inspiration to someone else.

I am currently running for the PAL Youth Leadership Committee representative for my region so I can be a voice for those who are in the foster care system.  In addition to this, I enrolled to take part in the next Texas Teen Conference.

Emily knew my focus was acting.  She went out of her way to see that I have the opportunity to become an actor.  Emily asked some of the generous people at her job to donate the money for acting lessons.

As you can see, Emily put forth so much effort to ensure our success, and without Emily’s immense inspiration and concern, I would not have the motivation or the desire to make a difference in the lives of others.

*This inspiring story comes from Someone There for Me By: Pam Byrd

Emily was the one person that was a constant source of encouragement in the lives of this brother and sister. Because of her they are making a difference in the lives of other foster children. There are hundreds of children like this in foster care in Taylor County, who need someone to not only be their voice in court, but someone who can inspire. Volunteer today to make a difference that will last a lifetime! Every child has a chance, IT’S YOU!