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Building Dreams: Dominic's Journey with CASA

We love to hear and share stories of resilience and triumph from the youth we serve. Today, we shine a light on the inspiring journey of Dominic*, a justice-involved youth, and his CASA advocate, Gerda. 

Dominic's story began at the age of 16 when he found himself entangled in the legal system due to a minor offense, leading to a year-long probationary period. Despite a stable family situation, Dominic struggled to navigate the terms and conditions of his probation, hindering his path to closure. 

Recognizing the need for additional support, the presiding judge recommended a CASA Advocate to mentor Dominic through his challenges. Dominic was no stranger to CASA, having had a positive experience with our organization during his time in foster care when he was just nine years old. 

Enter Gerda, a volunteer Advocate wanting to make a difference. She took the time to understand Dominic's interests, unravel his situation, and, most importantly, earn the trust of both he and his family. Gerda's mission was clear: to be a gentle and encouraging guide for Dominic. 

Dominic, an intelligent teen with a polite demeanor, possesses an incredible amount of untapped potential. Gerda, through patient listening and genuine care, hoped to help Dominic discover his path. In the initial stages, Gerda wasn't sure how she could help, but a genuine connection formed as they explored Dominic's interests together. Sharing a love of art, music, nature, and discussion, they’ve been having fun visiting museums and parks, going to movies, and talking about what they’ve seen.  

Within three months, Gerda successfully advocated for Dominic in court, helping to ensure his removal from probation and the sealing of his records. Dominic had worked hard to meet the terms of his probation. It was important that the judge recognized this and that Dominic saw that a fair outcome could be achieved. The victory was not merely legal; it was a triumph over the trauma of being on probation. 

The bond between Dominic and Gerda extends beyond the courtroom. While Dominic is on track to graduate high school at the end of summer, Gerda remains committed to nurturing his creative talents. Their friendship has continued even though the official CASA role has ended. 

Gerda would like to continue to be a mentor and sounding board for Dominic, to explore new opportunities, and to encourage him to consider possibilities for his future, including furthering his education and potential career paths.  We are so excited for whatever the future holds for him as he grows into adulthood. 

*Fictitious Name