Karaoke singer, lover of cultural trips, and CASA of CGS volunteer.
Affectionate and kind-hearted, Beth Kellum pours her overflowing love for others into her role at CASA of CGS. Since she joined our team in 2018, she has brought so much light and love to our organization, and she has left an indelible mark on both the lives of the children she has served and her fellow advocates.
With almost a decade of experience on the Clayton Board of Education, Beth is a mother of three advocating in Gloucester county while working full-time for a railroad construction company. But she wanted something more, something different. With so much love to give, Beth wanted to share it with others in a way that would make a difference through more personal connections to people in her community. When she found CASA, she knew it was where she was meant to be.
“Beth has been a part of our family since 2018 and has faithfully served her CASA child (in addition to another case) since the beginning, recently leading him to permanency as he aged out of the foster care system,” says Program Coordinator Jennifer Henderson. “Her advocacy for him is something I'll never forget. Beth has been a light in all of our lives, reflecting commitment, love, and strong advocacy. She is strong, intelligent, focused, and never falters - a true CASA gem!”
In her two and a half years as a CASA of CGS advocate, Beth has grown to become an immense support system in the life of her CASA child. She has led him toward his goal of independent living, helping him obtain a driver’s license, find an apartment of his own, collect donations of furniture to furnish his new apartment, and even gifting him the bike he wanted thanks to donations from our yearly Holiday Drive.
“Beth has been a solid advocate since the inception of her case,” says Michele Musick, her Gloucester County Advocate Coordinator. “She takes on the teenagers and young adults. It takes a special person to navigate the psyche of a teenager and she does it beautifully and has, in my opinion, mastered it. I have learned so much from her and it has been an honor to serve as her Advocate Coordinator.”
Beth has a special knack for connecting with CASA teens, and she stresses the importance in investing in that age group of foster youth, and youth in general, because “individual investments improve the overall quality of everyone’s lives,” in her own words. And aging out of foster care, in particular, is an incredibly stressful and difficult time. Beth urges others to work with youth aging out of foster care to provide them with the support and direction they need and deserve.
“There is just something about volunteering that fills that sense of meaning in your life,” she says. “You’re not obligated to do it, but it feels good to reach out and make a connection with someone who needs something that you can help with.”
Beth found that sense of meaning through CASA of CGS, and we are just as happy as she is to have her by our side.
“I’ve never met better people than CASA people,” says Beth. “To know that an organization is really caring about the kids and is made up of people who care with a unique tenderness...I’m just so impressed with the people I've met at CASA and the amount of time they spend supporting and encouraging all of us.”
Beth, you are a shining light in our organization. You have such an enormous heart filled with love and the children you serve are so lucky to have someone as compassionate and supportive as you advocating for their best interests. Thank you for everything you do for our team, for our youth, and for our community--we couldn’t do this work without you!