Congratulations to the Advocate of the Month for November: Alana Sacerdote
Hot Yoga Enthusiast, Mother of two, and CASA of CGS Gloucester County Advocate
Making a positive impact in the world looks different for everyone. For some, it means activism and taking a stand to fight for justice. For others, it means looking within and growing into a better version of yourself. And for CASA of CGS Gloucester County Volunteer Advocate Alana Sacerdote, changing the world means starting with our youth.
A lifelong volunteer with a passion for showing up and being there for people in her community, Alana has always carved time out for service, whether at her local animal shelter or soup kitchen. And a little over a year ago, with some encouragement from her sister who volunteers for CASA in Las Vegas, Alana added “CASA Advocate” to that list.
“I’ve always thought it was really important to be a part of the community. It feels very fulfilling to me,” said Alana. “And I’ve always had the strong belief that changing the world starts with children. You can't address anything else until you address children in need.”
Alana came into CASA of CGS with a passion for expanding her knowledge and a goal of advocating for a teenage girl, hoping to help navigate the barriers that often burden young women. When she began advocating, she was matched with a youth who was, unfortunately, jumping from several placements that were not meeting the youth’s needs or providing an environment to help the youth flourish. But with Alana’s support and steadfast advocacy, her CASA youth has now finally found a place where they are comfortable and free to be themself.
“You really are the voice,” said Alana. “When you listen to your first court hearing you realize that everyone gets to talk except for the child, but it's their voice that's most important. Sometimes there are things going on where you need to speak up on their behalf. It's fulfilling to know that you had something to do with finding the children a better place where they can be successful.”
The success and well-being of the youth we serve is paramount to CASA’s mission, and with dedicated volunteers like Alana, we are lucky to be able to change a child’s story every day. Alana’s hard work and consistency on her case led her youth to a brighter future, where they are now thriving both in school and socially.
“Alana is a pleasure to work with,” said Gloucester County Advocate Coordinator Michele Musick. “I am in awe knowing that she chooses to be a voice for her foster youth all the while being one busy lady: a wife, a mother of two young children, a daughter, a full-time employee, among other things. Alana's kind and gentle nature coupled with a big heart has been perfect for her CASA youth. I am proud to walk beside her supporting her as she's making this world a better place.”
More than anything, Alana believes in the power of being present and showing up for people–which is exactly what she has proven throughout her time as a CASA of CGS volunteer. She has remained committed in the face of obstacles, always placing the child’s best interests first to seek solutions that promote the child’s ultimate happiness, safety, and success.
Thank you, Alana, for being you! You are a CASA superhero! We are so grateful to have you on our team and we are incredibly proud of everything you have accomplished in such a short amount of time. Thank you for everything you do–your hard work never goes unnoticed!