After I retired, I felt like I still had something to offer. I am a retired teacher and coach, and have been a pastor for many years. I was asked by a former student to consider working for CAJA. I considered it, prayed hard over it, and decided to give it a go. That was four years ago and I have thoroughly enjoyed reaching out and helping children.
It has been difficult at times, trying my patience and enduring a lot of frustrations, but the end result has been overwhelmingly rewarding. It is a joy to advocate for a child, yet sometimes it breaks your heart hearing what they have to say and what they have been through. I get to be a voice for that child, trying to express to the court and the system how that child feels and what is going on in their world. I know I have helped many of those children and the inner peace you get when you do so is a reward in itself.
CAJA is a wonderful organization and is well respected within the community, as well among judges and lawyers. They greatly value our opinion and input because we are there for the best interests of the child. They listen intently when we talk. I have been blessed to be a part of this special organization.
Becoming active in school functions and activities as I raised my family in Marshall County, I was exposed to children who had struggles and challenges that seemed to be ignored by the community at large. I discovered that CAJA strives to address those issues. As a CAJA volunteer, I am blessed with opportunities to speak for those who are sometimes not heard and to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable. CAJA is “for the child,” and I am honored to be a part of this organization.