At CASA of CGS, our advocates mean the world to us! They selflessly dedicate their time to be a voice for abused and/or neglected children without ever asking for or seeking recognition in any way. Each advocate has a reason as to why they decided to join the fight against child abuse and be on the front line. Their compassion is incredible. We want to recognize them for their efforts and give our CASA of CGS family an opportunity to meet some of the superheroes we are so fortunate to have as part of our team!
Meet Lauren Ritter!
Lauren grew up and currently lives in Stow Creek, New Jersey. She tells us, ” I want to make a meaningful impact in the lives of children and be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves. When I was younger I had people in my life who were able to speak up and advocate for me when I wasn’t able to do it for myself, so I would like to be that person in another child’s life.” Lauren joined our Spring 2014 training and was sworn in this past April. When asked what she hopes to accomplish by being an advocate, Lauren says, “I hope to be able to help at least one child have his or her voice be heard and to help that child be placed in a safe, loving environment.”
In Lauren’s free time she enjoys reading, working out at the gym and spending time outside in her backyard with friends and family. Some of her favorite times in the past, “I love to watch movies with my family, spend time around the kitchen table, and spend time outside in the yard together. When I was younger, on Friday nights we would play board games, especially Parcheesi, where the goal was always to “send the camel home” –which always meant send me home. Any time that I get to spend with my family is memorable.”
When asked about something that has changed her life, she tells us, “When I was in 8th grade, I was having a very difficult time socially at school. I felt like I had lost my voice, but my parents were there to advocate for me and to speak up on my behalf. At the same time, I met Rosalind Wiseman, who has written many books about bullying in children and young adults. Through talking to Rosalind and my parents, I realized that I still had a voice and I just needed to find it again. That period of my life really changed who I am and is part of the reason that I want to be a voice for other children who feel like they lost their voice or their voice isn’t being heard. Every child deserves the right to be happy.”
At the end of our interview I asked Lauren if there was anything she wanted to add and she made this touching comment, “Joining CASA has been a meaningful experience for me, not only because it allows me to advocate for children, but also because it has given me a support group of amazing people who share my passion for service and volunteering. The friends I have made through becoming an advocate have been incredible and I am grateful to be surrounded by so many inspiring, loving individuals.”
Her favorite quote, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” — Kurt Vonnegut.
Lauren, thank you. Because of you, a child has a voice. You are contributing to the strength of a neglected child’s foundation. He continues to be enveloped with love and support because of your visitations and recommendations. Thank you for sharing your story, Lauren ! CASA of CGS is proud to have you as part of our family! Please continue sharing your motivation and desire to help others! It’s because of amazing individuals like yourself that the children have a voice and a strong role model when looking for support and answers. Thank you for all that you do, not only for CASA of CGS, but for the children we service as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about CASA of CGS, email Jonathan@casaofcgs.org. Cumberland County ranked last place in Child Welfare in New Jersey. Let’s stand up for our children and do something about it! Visit www.wespeakupforchildren.org for more information and follow us on Facebook for daily updates and information.