Monica Carson joined the Columbia Gorge CASA team in April of 2021. She took her first case two months later and continues to advocate for the same youth. Monica joined the CASA team due to a desire since childhood to help people: she had initially considered becoming a lawyer or a social worker. She works in the wine industry now, which she loves, but was happy to find a way to help children through CASA advocacy. “CASA is the perfect fit,” she adds.
Monica says her favorite parts of advocacy include getting to know her CASA youth, learning more about children with disabilities and the “challenges/successes in meeting their needs in a small community,” and “feeling inspired by a teacher and DHS caseworker who have gone above and beyond for my CASA youth.” Monica says an especially significant part of her CASA work so far involved an estranged parent reconnecting with their child: seeing the positive impact of that on the life of her CASA youth was a powerful experience for Monica.
When asked about how she handles case-related stress, Monica indicates that she talks it through with CASA staff—“Just having someone to listen is helpful”—and engages in self-care activities like walks or baths.
To anyone considering becoming a CASA volunteer, Monica emphasizes, “Do it! It’s a very rewarding experience.”
Columbia Gorge CASA, the community, and especially her CASA youth these last two and a half years are all so fortunate to have people like Monica. Having seen Monica and her CASA youth together, CASA staff has seen firsthand what a positive impact she has had and the close bond they share.