By Vicki Spriggs, Texas CASA CEO
Dear CASA Family,
Who taught you how to dream? Who opened a door for you when you were growing up? Who inspired you? Who was your biggest champion and motivator? For me, without a doubt, it was my mother.
When my sisters and I were young, our mother always told us that we could do whatever we wanted. There were no limitations! She said, “Go out there and try whatever you want to try, because if it doesn’t work out you can always come home, rest up, recoup, get out there and start again.” She helped me realize that anything I wanted to do, I could do. Though my mother passed away about five years ago now, this attitude she instilled in me still guides me today.
Many of us can look back on our childhoods and name at least one adult who had a positive, long-term impact on us, and helped us get where we are today. Every child needs someone to encourage and nurture them, cheer them on and advocate for them.
To raise awareness of the difference one adult can make in the life of a child, we partnered with poet Ebony Stewart and local musicians Riders Against the Storm to create “The Imagination Report,” an original, collaborative poem, song and music video.
“The Imagination Report” is meant to inspire and show the difference one person can make in a child’s life, especially when that person is from the same community as the child and can connect with them. Give it a listen!
Also on the topic of mentorship, in this edition of The CASA Voice we are excited to feature a unique new student organization at The University of Texas at Austin: Foundation of the Fosters (FTF). FTF looks to help youth who’ve experienced the foster care system get into and graduate from UT by pairing current UT student mentors with youth who are interested in applying.
In addition, January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and advocacy leaders from local CASA programs are sharing some of the most important things for CASA volunteers to know and do about trafficking and exploitation. We’re also diving into the R.E.A.L. Friends Don’t campaign about online safety and featuring Texas CASA’s own Candice Dosman and Rhonda Kuykendall speaking on our anti-child trafficking approach.
You can be anything you wanna be… anything at all…
you just gotta believe it or have someone to help you be it, as you grow up.
As we enter the new year, I hope “The Imagination Report” uplifts you and reminds you of the amazing difference one person can make in a child’s life. I also encourage you to create your own Imagination Report! Who helped you to dream big, and opened doors for you when you were young? If you like, tell us by making your own #MyImaginationReport video and sharing it online using our custom frame or Canva template.
Thank you for all that you do, and have a very happy New Year!