CASA Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Deb NelsonEmily Hoak
“One of my personal guiding principles focuses on the importance of serving others and the belief that every person benefits from ‘having a person in their corner’.”
Deb Nelson became involved with Porter County CASA in the fall of 2019 and was assigned to her first case in late December, 2019. She retired in July, 2019 from 30 plus years of working as a speech pathologist, special education teacher, and administrator of a program for children and students with autism in Michigan. She’s relatively new to the Valparaiso area, moving here from Michigan, about a year and a half ago. Deb enjoys reading, sewing, camping and hiking.
When asked what lead her to volunteer, Deb said, “As an educator, I advocated for children my entire adult life. I continued to be passionate about advocating for children in my retirement and the CASA program provided an opportunity to continue to serve children and families.”
Deb said that some of her favorite things about volunteering are the “successes, whether big or small.” She said further, “Sometimes, it is watching a child learn a new skill, become more open or develop healthier relationships with people in their lives. Sometimes success comes in watching a parent who makes progress in facing their addictions, challenges or developing more effective parenting skills.”
In addition, she noted, “Another favorite thing about being a CASA volunteer is the opportunity to serve children in our community as part of a team. Working with CASA supervisors and staff and collectively collaborating with the Court, Department of Child Services and other agency providers allows for increased effectiveness. It also allows me to grow personally, as I learn from each member of the team, increase my knowledge and improve my advocacy skills.”
Deb said that she continues to volunteer because, “One of my personal guiding principles focuses on the importance of serving others and the belief that every person benefits from ‘having a person in their corner’. That principle paired with the need for advocacy for children in our community fuels my continued involvement as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. How lucky am I, that it also brings me satisfaction and at times, much joy.”
Deb added, “I am a woman who lives a life enriched by being married for 40 plus years, a mother to three grown children and grandmother to five. I was fortunate to have had work that provided challenge, personal growth and joy! I am one of the ‘lucky ones’, who has always had a ‘person in my corner’.”
Thank you, Deb!
In honor of Rose Butler who was a CASA volunteer, and who further supported the mission of CASA as a staff member supervising and mentoring many of our volunteers, we are featuring one CASA volunteer each month who is making a difference in the lives of children in Porter County.