Brandi Pickens, a resident of the Gorge since 2020, was sworn in as a CASA volunteer in November of 2021. Brandi says she has spent her time in the Gorge so far “establishing roots in this vibrant community and becoming familiar with its unique needs and challenges.” During the last eighteen months, Brandi advocated for three children on two cases and was announced as our “Rookie of the Year” in 2022 for outstanding commitment to the children she serves. In addition to advocacy, she also organized a fundraiser through her local dance class to raise money for Columbia Gorge CASA!
When asked why she joined the CASA team, Brandi replies, “My decision to become a CASA volunteer was greatly influenced by my grandmother, who also served as a CASA throughout my formative years. Witnessing her dedication and the positive impact she had on the lives of vulnerable children inspired me to follow in her footsteps and make a difference in my community.”
Brandi indicates that her favorite part of advocacy is “the opportunity to form deep connections with the children I advocate for. Building relationships and bonding with them allows me to understand their needs and concerns more intimately, empowering me to be a better advocate and make a positive impact in their lives.” She adds, “Additionally, knowing that my efforts can truly make a difference is incredibly rewarding. Advocacy gives me the chance to be the voice for those who may not have one, and witnessing positive outcomes and improvements in the lives of the children I work with reaffirms my commitment to this important role.”
Finally, Brandi wants folks to know that she how much she genuinely loves being a CASA. She explains, “This role is not just a responsibility to me; it is a true passion. The opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of children who are navigating difficult circumstances is incredibly fulfilling, and I am grateful for the chance to contribute to their well-being and future.”