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Congratulations to the Advocate of the Month for June: Yeila Rivera

Dedicated mentor, CASA of CGS Volunteer Advocate

During a conversation with her professor on her graduation day, Yeila expressed her desire to continue serving her community. Her professor provided her with information about the CASA program and told her it would be a wonderful opportunity to make a difference. The very next day, Yeila attended an event where she coincidentally met the program director of CASA. As she learned more about CASA's mission, the program director recognized Yeila's potential as a volunteer and expressed their confidence in her abilities, which greatly influenced her decision to join the organization. Since September 2022, Yeila has been dedicatedly advocating for the betterment of her community as a valued member of CASA of CGS.

Since Yeila's involvement with CASA, she has acquired the valuable skill of effectively communicating with others, creating an atmosphere of comfort and trust. In discussing her experience, Yeila expressed that her interactions with families serve as a consistent source of motivation in her role as a volunteer. Interestingly, she humbly acknowledged that the children she works with are the ones who truly inspire her, surpassing any influence she believes she may have on them. Yeila specifically highlighted her CASA child as a remarkable source of inspiration, as she witnessed firsthand the child's remarkable ability to conquer seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Yeila's experience with her CASA child has exceeded her expectations. Initially, as a new volunteer, she anticipated a standard process, attending meetings and meeting the child. However, her involvement has become much more meaningful. She has been there for the child, witnessing their growing self-advocacy and the support they receive from others. Every day, Yeila is amazed and surprised by her newfound knowledge of CASA. As a CASA Advocate, she witnessed firsthand the transformative impact that CASA can have on children. Through her experience, she has discovered that the program empowers children, enabling them to discover their own reservoirs of courage and strength, ultimately advocating for their needs and desires—a feat that would prove challenging without the unwavering support offered by CASA volunteers.

Yeila is eager to inspire others to embrace volunteering, emphasizing that each person has the potential to serve as a mentor within someone else's story. Regardless of whether one is aware of it or not, or whether it is readily apparent, everyone possesses the ability to influence others positively. Whether it is in the role of a friend, cousin, aunt, coworker, or any other connection, each individual holds the power to become a mentor to those around them. Yeila passionately expresses that the experience of being an advocate brings immense fulfillment as one witnesses the profound impact they can have on a child's life.

In addition to her volunteer work with CASA, Yeila dedicates her time to two other notable organizations: Pathstone and Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). At Pathstone, she remains on-call, ready to address any emergencies that may arise. Meanwhile, at BBBS, Yeila plays a pivotal role in ensuring that every individual has access to a mentor. If a mentor is lacking, she actively engages with the community, tirelessly seeking out suitable mentors to fulfill the program's needs. Participating in all three programs provides Yeila with an ever-deepening understanding of the profound significance mentors hold in the lives of children and families. As a first-generation individual, Yeila keenly recognizes the opportunities she missed out on and, fueled by that perspective, she is determined to prevent other children from enduring the same hardships. With unwavering passion and motivation, Yeila utilizes her abilities to assist in any way possible, constantly seeking avenues to amplify her impact with each passing day.

Yeila, your passion shines through in everything you do, and we are truly grateful to have you as a valued member of our team. Your dedication and perseverance serve as an inspiration to us all, leaving an indelible impact on each and every one of us. The advocacy you provide for the children you serve is an invaluable gift that they will cherish and remember for years to come. Thank you for making a lasting difference in their lives.

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