Advocate of the Month for July: Yvonne Leung
Puppy lover, butterfly aficionado, and CASA of CGS Cumberland County Advocate
Butterflies, seeing-eye dogs, and airplanes—while altogether unrelated, these unique pillars shape the life of CASA Advocate Yvonne Leung.
A Bronx native and former Air Traffic Control Supervisor, Yvonne is often busy bouncing around her one-of-a-kind schedule between visiting schools and libraries to teach children about raising butterflies, training guide dogs for the blind (she’s trained 17 puppies so far!), volunteering at her local theater, tutoring English as a second language, and practicing yoga and meditation. And since 2019, she’s added another impressive superlative to her list--fierce advocate for foster youth.
A few years ago while taking a yoga class at the Cumberland County Library, Yvonne ran into a flyer that would soon make an incredible impact on her life--a flyer recruiting CASA of CGS volunteer advocates. With time to spare, skills to lend, and a heart for helping others, she knew what she wanted to do.
She breezed through training and quickly picked up her first case after her swear-in ceremony. Fast forward to today, and she has advocated for multiple children. Her commitment and drive is astounding, and our CASA team is incredibly grateful for her hard work and dedication!
“Yvonne is the advocate who pushes us to look deeper, think harder, nurture creativity, and love with all we have,” says CASA of CGS Program Director Jennifer Henderson. “She loves to see children provided with an opportunity to thrive and live the best life this world has to offer. Since joining the program in 2019, she’s served five children and has worked as hard as she can to make sure they have joy and positive experiences in their lives. On a more personal note, I am grateful for the care Yvonne provides to me with her shared love of butterflies and the theater. I’m currently learning how to raise a Monarch butterfly from an egg thanks to her support and patience with me! She is empathetic and giving and we are so happy she’s with our team.”
Yvonne goes above and beyond for her CASA youth, and it certainly does not go unnoticed-not from our team, and not from her CASA youth either. Just one month ago, after a very sad, stressful day, Yvonne decided to stop by the house of the first CASA family she ever worked with. As soon as she pulled up, her CASA kids came flying out to her, smothering her with hugs and affection. Feeling remembered, appreciated, and still loved by those children completely lifted her spirits that day, and remains one of her most memorable moments as a volunteer.
It's moments like those that show how the creativity and care Yvonne pours into her work as a CASA volunteer leaves a lasting impression on the lives of the children she serves, and that never goes unnoticed.
“I am so excited to nominate Yvonne Leung as CASA Advocate of the Month!” exclaims Yvonne’s Cumberland County Advocate Supervisor, Cara Zoppina. “ Yvonne takes an active role in the lives of her CASA children by offering ideas and opportunities to them and their resource parents that include: swimming lessons, plays, dance recitals at the Levoy Theatre, and feeding Giraffes at the Cape May Zoo! Yvonne is such a special person who is amazing with conferencing her case every step of the way with great attention to detail. I love hearing about her cool adventures and ideas and I am just so happy to have the chance to work and collaborate with a special lady. Thank you for sharing your love of animals, nature, and other gifts with us!”
Yvonne is dedicated to sharing helpful information with others and acting as a positive influence on as many people as possible--core values which shine through in her work as a CASA advocate. She preaches non-competition and is committed to working together to make the world a better place.
“I believe that people have skills and knowledge that they can share that’s needed, and unfortunately not always available, which is why volunteering is important,” says Yvonne. “Being a CASA Advocate has given me the opportunity to share my experiences and my knowledge with others, and it’s so rewarding. The friends I’ve made, the support I’ve been given, and the relationships I have made with CASA will be lifelong.”
We are so grateful to have someone as fun, compassionate, and driven as Yvonne on our team! She is one-of-a-kind and truly a CASA superhero. Thank you for all you do, Yvonne--your hard work never goes unnoticed!