At CASA of CGS, our advocates mean the world to us! They selflessly dedicate their time to be a voice for abused and/or neglected children without ever asking for or seeking recognition in any way. Each advocate has a reason as to why they decided to join the fight against child abuse and be on the front line. Their compassion is incredible. We want to recognize them for their efforts and give our CASA of CGS family an opportunity to meet some of the superheroes we are so fortunate to have as part of our team!
Meet Jennifer Rodriguez!
Jennifer works with our youth as part of her career, but wanted to work on a more personal basis to help them make changes in their lives in a more direct way. She knew that she’d have a chance to do so by becoming an advocate and was sworn-in in 2008.
When asked what she hoped to accomplish as an advocate, she said, “I hope to be able to provide a voice to help advocate for the best interest of youth in our communities who have been abused and neglected. I hope to be able to help voice the needs of these youth while they are under CASA services and provide them with what is needed to continue to be successful in reaching their goals in life.”
Jennifer continues to reside in her hometown of Vineland and enjoys reading and watching television in free time to unwind.
Time spent with family is one of the most important things to maintain in your life as it builds a foundation and memories. Jennifer says, “Some of my fondest moments with my family are those times we have spent at local baseball games. Spending time with the family watching the game is something that we all had in common and enjoyed to this day. Traveling would be another favorite past time I have had with my family, especially my mother and I. We have had many mother-daughter trips to a lot of fun places such as Hawaii, cruises along the Caribbean, and trips to Puerto Rico visiting family and friends.”
Growing up, she had a close friend that was being physically abused by her boyfriend. One thing that she learned from her and her situation is that “when working with people you have to remember about a principal called ‘self-determination.’ Individuals will always in the end do what they feel is best, in our role we can only provide them with necessary resources, skills and guidance if they want to make changes. We are here to provide support, empowerment and a voice to our youth and hope they have enough self-determination to pick the ‘right’ road in their life.”
Each of us have that one quote that stands out to keep us motivated or that has become concrete in our mind as we make our way through life. Jennifer’s favorite quote is: “We can only plant the seeds today and hope to see them grow in the future.” She reminds herself of this often while working with youth. She says, “Often we provide them with the necessary tools (seeds), but do not see the outcome because they are not ready to use them. Sometime down the road whether it is two months, two years or 20 years they will have that ‘aha’ moment and remember those tools (seeds) they were taught and use them.”
Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your story! CASA of CGS is proud to have you as part of our family! You are an asset to the community because you took your career path a step further to selflessly focus on the children and their futures. Your compassion is incredible and absolutely admirable! Thank you for all that you do, not only for CASA of CGS, but for the children we service as well.
Cumberland County ranked last place in Child Welfare in New Jersey. Let’s stand up for our children and do something about it! Visit www.wespeakupforchildren.org for more information and follow us on Facebook for daily updates and information.