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November Advocate of the Month: Debbie Sulkin

When you retire, I want you to do three things, Debbie, said the nurse’s patient, One: do something that comes as second nature to you. Two: do something that you’re interested in. And three: do something that you know nothing about, and that you have to continually learn while you’re doing it.

These words canvassed her mind as Debbie scoured the aisles of the job fair in Pitman a few short months post-retirement. Having already fulfilled her patient’s first two pieces of advice by volunteering as a nurse--a position that comes second nature to her after years of working in the field--and at a local theater--to fulfill her lifelong dream of being a vocalist--Debbie was ready to bite into her third, and arguably most life-changing, task. That’s when she found CASA, and knew it was where she was meant to be.

Fast forward to nearly two years later, and Debbie is still learning, growing, and working as hard as ever to ensure that the children she serves are cared for, empowered, and geared for success.

“She gives her all to her children and families with grace, laughter, and a whole lot of caring.” says Michele Musick, Gloucester County Advocate Coordinator. “She is always eager to learn the entire court process and leaves no stone unturned. I describe Debbie as a light in dark times, and when she walks into a room she brings love and laughter. I am honored to call her my advocate and friend.”

And aside from her dedication to her cases, Debbie is committed to helping those on her team succeed in any way she can. She never ceases to go the extra mile when giving back to others, and those touched by her kindness are grateful to have someone like her in their lives.

“Debbie has poured her heart into both of her cases, making sure she learns as much as she can to better serve the children while also applying all of the incredible skills she already possessed,” adds Program Director Jennifer Henderson. “She’s the sweetest and I absolutely love being around her. She makes me laugh, feel special, and definitely makes me feel loved. My favorite is receiving care notes in the mail from her that seem to come at just the right time. I’m not sure she knows just how much she means to our team, but she is very loved and I’m deeply grateful for her service to our children. She is a part of our family now and always.”

A constant learning process, CASA teaches Debbie something new each day; but, more importantly, CASA gives Debbie the opportunity to work with a passionate group of people who are all dedicated to the same cause--changing a child’s story.

“I have been so blessed by so many things in my lifetime, so to give back to someone else who is less fortunate is the best feeling in the world,” says Debbie. “To be able to put a smile on someone’s face or get someone out of a bad situation is priceless.”

We are so grateful to have you on our team, Debbie! You put so much heart into what you do and you brighten up the lives of everyone around you. Thank you for being you! Your hard work never goes unnoticed!

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