At CASA, we are always looking for ways to celebrate our amazing Advocates. In keeping with that intention, every month we will highlight the story and experience of one Advocate who is working with a child or youth. Every Advocate has a story, and we hope that by regularly featuring individual Advocates, we can honor the stories and experiences of all. We will randomly choose an Advocate who has their volunteer file up to date (monthly logs, insurance information, driver’s license) to be our Featured Advocate each month.
This month, we’re happy to introduce you to Mette Rubin. Mette grew up in a small rural town in Denmark, and fondly recalls the slow pace and sense of small town living. She spent many afternoons gardening or cooking with her dad. “Once my dad and I dug up 200 kilos of potatoes in one afternoon!” Mette said.
In 2012, Mette moved to Santa Cruz with her two kids, and immediately signed up for the CASA training. She was sworn in, and assigned her first child: a 5-year-old boy who was diagnosed as autistic, and was non-verbal. “His only form of communication was grunting, and running away,” said Mette. “Our breakthrough came at a pet store, of all places!” While listening to the cats meowing, Mette started to meow, too. “My boy turned to look at me…and then he started meowing. That was the moment of connection.” Mette said they “pursued their silly together” for over three years. When the case was closed following her boy’s adoption, he was in a mainstream classroom and, in Mette’s words, “talking up a storm, and impressing many others with his silly and very smart shenanigans!”
Mette recently took a new case, a 1-year-old boy. “Once again, I’ve been humbled by the family’s openness to letting a stranger like me into their vulnerable situation.” Mette’s experience as a volunteer Advocate has inspired her to go back to school to get her MSW. Mette said, “I’m hoping to work professionally with kids and families who are experiencing difficult times.”
Many people don’t know that Mette was a children’s theatre actress in Santa Monica when she was in her early ‘30s. “I especially enjoyed playing the part of Jack’s Mum in a cockney-accented version of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’ Mette said. “But soon my full-time mother role crowded out that part of my life – and that was even more fun!”