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CASA Cares: What it's like to be a new advocate

This week, Texas Today focuses on what it's like to be a brand new CASA advocate.

BELL COUNTY, Texas — There's a lot of hope that comes with starting something new. For CASA Advocates, there can be joy, hopefulness and a lot of angst.

The angst, is a good thing in their case. Most can't wait to take on their first case.

Hours have gone into their training to be a CASA, along with a swearing-in ceremony, where everything was made official, and for a few, their dreams finally came true.

"I worked for CPS back in the day so I got to see what CASA was about back then and I wanted to do what they did," Lisa Guerrero, a new CASA Advocate said.

When Guerrero worked in Child Protective Services, she said she would take her kids shopping. She did things that a CPS worker normally wouldn't do.

But this is what gave her that "aha" moment, that she needed to be a CASA.

It was a little different for Kate Richards, and the way she found CASA. Richard's parent was involved in the legal system as she grew up, so she saw the children that were impacted.

The role of a CASA became so important to her.

"I think part of it was that I couldn't believe a kid didn't grow up the way I did," Richards said.

Throughout her life, Richards took on roles that gave back to her community. Even as early as college, she worked with CASA through her sorority.

Today, the two have been sworn in with their peers, but they won't go out into the world of being a CASA alone.

Every CASA starts out with a supervisor, sort of an "advocate for the advocate". They play a large role in making sure the advocates are taking care of themselves before they take on any cases, or while they take on their first.

When it comes to the time commitment for these two new advocates, they say they aren't worried at all.

"I believe life is about what you choose to prioritize," Richards said. "There's always time so it just matters how you want to prioritize the time you have in a day."

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