November 16, 2021 •
Adrienne Borgstahl, a CASA Board of Trustee
Hi Adrienne! Tell me about CASA. Why is this work important to you? CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are community volunteers who speak out and stand up for abused and neglected children within the court system. Quite simply, these children did not ask for the circumstances for which they were forced to deal with and CASA provides a neutral third party who will advocate for their best interests. As a board member, I help raise funds to support these volunteers, like gift cards so they can take a kid to get a meal. We fundraise to provide aid to the children, whether that be school supplies or Christmas gifts. Additionally, we raise funds to support CASA trainings to ensure our volunteers are well trained and supported.
This work is important to me because there is not a more vulnerable group than children. These kids don’t have security and often the people that are supposed to protect have failed them in the worst ways. A CASA can provide the support, security, and hope a child so desperately needs. I don’t think it matters what your creed or your politics are… everyone can agree this program is vital to help our community’s most defenseless population. To me, supporting CASA is a must, whether I am on the board or not.
How long have you been on the CASA Board? I have been on the board since Summer 2020.
A lot has happened in the last year. What was it like to be on a board during the pandemic? This is first time being on a board, so in some ways I have no idea how different it is than normal. It has been a struggle to plan fundraisers, but the community has shown up. I think the pandemic has forced us all to find new and creative ways to entice support from the community. Also, I think we should always have virtual options when it comes to fundraisers. It is a new world we are still navigating, but we are all going through it.
How do you see the CASA Board helping you to develop your leadership in the community? I have never wanted to be on any board. I like to show up and help out, but being on a board was not in my plans. However, Mr. Michael Beckett, Associate Director, Research Services and former CASA Board President, approached me about being on the board when he left because he knows how much I support CASA’s mission. This is definitely outside of my comfort zone. I know people think I am outgoing, but asking people for money has never been one of my strengths. So, being on the board has forced me to develop my community leadership skills. Growth can be uncomfortable, but there is not another organization that I would do this for. I am thankful to work for a company with a CEO who supports this type of work and allows me to develop skills I never thought I would need to use.
What is your favorite part of working with CASA? My favorite part is knowing I am doing something worthwhile. I am extremely passionate about what CASA does and think it is a vital service to help strengthen our community. No child should feel unsafe and every child should have someone looking out for their best interests.
If anyone has questions about CASA or how you can support this necessary organization, please feel free to reach out to me. I am always happy to discuss CASA!
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