Advocate of the Month for September: Vinnie Prodromou
Hiker, IT Education Support Manager, and CASA of CGS Volunteer Advocate
Whether you believe in creating your own destiny or leaving it all up to the hands of fate (or a healthy mixture of both), we might all agree that somehow, at some point, the things we truly love always find their way back into our lives. And that was exactly how Vinnie Prodromou’s CASA story unfolded.
Vinnie originally joined our CASA family over a decade ago after learning about the kickoff of CASA’s new program for the tri-county area while she was on jury duty. At the time, she sat on the Child Placement Review Board through which she reviewed, in bulk, the cases of children in the foster care system and made recommendations to the judge--something somewhat similar to CASA. But she wanted to be more directly involved in the life of the children she served, and as soon as she learned about CASA she knew that was where she was meant to be.
Vinnie took on her first case as a Gloucester county volunteer and poured her heart into her advocacy. She felt so connected to her CASA child that she eventually began the process of adopting her--until Vinnie was suddenly diagnosed with cancer.
After her diagnosis, Vinnie took some time off from CASA, and was devastated that she could not adopt her CASA child. But thanks to the unwavering support she gave her CASA child and her hard work as an advocate, just a few months later her CASA child was adopted by a wonderful family. She’s doing fantastic now and is thriving, communicating, and coming out of her shell--all thanks to the strength of Vinnie’s love and advocacy.
Now, fully recovered and still passionate as ever about impacting the lives of children in her community, Vinnie is back in action as a Gloucester county volunteer and has taken on a new case with love and stride.
“Working with Vinnie has been nothing short of amazing,” says Vinnie’s Gloucester county Advocate Coordinator Beatriz Morales. “Having worked with CASA in the past, she took off running. Seeing how Vinnie overcomes obstacles and stops at nothing in order to give her CASA children the best advocacy she can is heartwarming. I feel so honored to work with her, to witness her unconditional desire to give and help children, and to learn from her. Vinnie truly reflects what CASA is all about with her advocacy, selflessness, and heart. Thank you Vinnie for making such a difference to our CASA kids!”
With a heart of gold, Vinnie is dedicated to helping others and making the world a better place, and we are so lucky that she chose CASA to make that difference.
“Vinnie is easy to talk to, welcoming, kind, and passionate about helping kids. I know she applies all of those traits to her case and the children she serves,” says Recruitment and Training Coordinator Julia Shulzhenko. “Since she was an advocate before, she already had knowledge of the child welfare system and advocating with CASA. However, she attended training to receive a brush up so she could take a new case and serve foster youth even better than before! We are happy to have her as part of our CASA family.”
Vinnie’s hard work, positive attitude, and commitment to child advocacy are just a handful of qualities that make her such an amazing CASA advocate. We are so lucky to have her on our team as a strong support system for our CASA youth. Thank you again for everything you do, Vinnie--your hard work never goes unnoticed!