Judy Mitchell is a recently sworn in CASA volunteer, and we are excited for her to be on our team! Judy has been retired from her federal government job for 11 years now. With 4 grandchildren, plus a child whom she considers to be her 5th grandchild, Judy has a lot of love in her heart. Luckily, she still has plenty to share as a CASA!
Judy found CASA of Baltimore County through one of the attorneys in her knitting group. Judy was told that she would be an amazing CASA, so she decided to take action! Judy has worked with children ever since she was a teenager. She has also been helping with a youth program in square dancing for the past 30 years! “Kids have always been a high priority on my list.” Even after everything that she has given to her communities, Judy wanted to help more. “I got to a time in my life where I needed something more challenging,” Judy said. Being a CASA can certainly have its challenges, but the difference that CASAs can make is worth it.
When Judy was first told how long CASA volunteer training was (33 hours), she was shocked. However, when she went to the training, she was so interested in and fascinated by what they were learning. “It was an amazing experience. I learned so much and the instructors were great.” During CASAs training process, potential volunteers learn about what their role would be as a CASA and how they can help the foster youth of Baltimore County. Most people don’t know the huge difference that a CASA can have in a child’s life! In addition, trainees will learn about all of the challenges that foster children will most likely experience in their life which, again, are not well known. Of course, the training also allows trainees to decide whether or not they really want to become a CASA; it is a learning process. “I feel like the people who finished were truly dedicated,” Judy said, referring to her training class. Judy is definitely a dedicated CASA! She has graciously offered her knitting group and skills to make scarves and hats for all of the children that CASA of Baltimore County serves. Her knitting group has done charity work with Title I schools, and when she came to CASA, she thought they could do something similar. To be able to provide the children with useful gifts is an amazing opportunity, and we are so grateful!
Once potential CASA volunteers complete their training, they are sworn in by a judge in the courthouse. Judy’s swearing in ceremony was unique because her entire family was there, which was a great surprise for her! “It meant a lot to me.” Judy’s family is well connected to the law. Her husband has spent a fair amount of time in court because he is a police officer, and her grandson is an aspiring attorney. Judy said that the judge who swore her in was very personable, and even took some time to speak with her grandson about being an attorney. The judge told Judy’s grandson if he ever wanted to stop by and observe court, the judge would happily set time aside for him. Judy was overwhelmed by the judge’s generosity and was overall just very happy. “I thought the whole experience was amazing, and I felt great.”
Thank you, Judy, for all of the wonderful gifts that you have already offered to CASA of Baltimore County!