Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteers are the heart of the CASA mission. The Rising Star Volunteer and the Pro Star Volunteer awards are given annually in recognition of volunteers who serve in an outstanding capacity. They have made significant contributions toward promoting the best interests of children who are abused and neglected, provide quality advocacy for children, and promote and support CASA in their communities.

To see additional award winners, click here.

National Volunteer Week 2019

Ohio CASA could not serve more than 9,400 children and families if it were not for our dedicated volunteers across our entire state! Here are some volunteers we’d like to give a special shout out:

David Y., Erin M., and Traci W. (Athens County)

William E. and Barbara B. (Lucas County)

Julie W. and Lisa K. (Franklin County)

Trent L., David T., Dick S., Kim F., Tammy S., and Sandy S. (Geauga County)

Amanda P., Angela M., Diana L., and Laura L. (Noble County)

PRO STAR VOLUNTEERS

RISING STAR VOLUNTEERS

2018
TERRI CARTER
Montgomery County Juvenile Court CASA

As a Montgomery County CASA volunteer for the past 15 years, Terri Carter has provided exceptional service to children.

Terri takes her role as a CASA volunteer very seriously and has unknowingly raised the bar for Montgomery County CASA volunteers. Her views and opinions are highly respected by CASA volunteers and staff, as well as by magistrates and attorneys. She understands the importance of volunteer recruitment and increasing public awareness of CASA, never failing to attend a public event in a CASA shirt or sweatshirt. Terri always submits her reports on time and attends all case events. She participates in many CASA trainings, typically completing more than required.

Terri does all she can to improve a child’s life. It is not uncommon for her to travel 300 miles or more in a day to maintain a consistent relationship with a child, and she has traveled more than 20,000 miles over the past three and a half years. For children with special needs, Terri will learn all she can to be their best advocate; she once enrolled in a sign language class to more effectively work with a hearing-impaired mother and child.

Terri believes in the process of investigate, facilitate, advocate and monitor. She avoids prejudging parties, regardless of their history. As an example, a recent custody case involved a mother who, having already lost custody of five children, was facing the possibility of losing her sixth. Terri quickly recognized that the woman wanted to be a good parent but had no concept of how to be one. She steered the woman toward parenting classes and would not recommend reunification until the woman demonstrated necessary parenting skills and met requirements of the case plan. This case concluded seven years ago; Terri still receives positive updates from the mother.

A letter in support of Terri’s nomination summed it up: “Terri is the epitome of what we want our CASA volunteers to be.”

2018
CHRISTINE BISESI
CASA OF Delaware & Union Counties

Christine Bisesi has been a CASA volunteer since January 2016, consistently surpassing expectations. In 2017, for example, Christine averaged more than 22 hours of volunteer time per month, many times driving more than 150 miles per month for case-related appointments. She is on track to exceed those numbers in 2018.

Christine balances assertiveness and gumption with calm and empathy. She is compassionate, kind, and professional. It is said that she personifies dedication and commitment to teenagers who are in desperate need of adult guidance, oversight and emotional support. She has been called a valuable asset to the Delaware County Juvenile Court.

Christine also is organized, logical and thorough, with a focus on data that ensures accurate reporting of essential case details. In one recent case, Christine’s report included a chart that documented a couple’s failure to engage with their child, supporting Christine’s position that an alternative permanency plan was in the child’s best interest.

In another case, Christine’s dogged pursuit of medical records, as well as her research into treatment centers and communication with medical providers, helped a teen who had been placed on suicide watch in juvenile detention get the psychiatric evaluation she needed. The girl had been abandoned by her biological parents at an early age, and had been in and out of detention centers, foster homes and residential treatment centers. Christine dedicated herself to helping the child attain her goal of high school graduation.

The young lady has since enrolled in college and transitioned from the custody of Job & Family Services to the Bridges program with Christine’s help. Christine’s dedication has been credited for the young woman’s ability to navigate her life as an independent adult.