It’s not every day a father and daughter share a CASA volunteer experience, but Brian and Chloe Stratton have shown how volunteerism can run in the family. In August, 2022 Chloe became a CASA/GAL volunteer and completed her internship with CASA before graduating from Kent State University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Since then, she has advocated for 8 children in two different families while balancing a full time job with Cleveland Angels.
Chloe’s enthusiasm inspired her father to become a CASA/GAL volunteer. After hearing about Chloe’s internship and attending the graduation ceremony, Brian applied and was sworn in as a CASA/GAL volunteer in April, 2023. Brian has been advocating for 2 children and has volunteered 83 hours and driven 254 miles in the past 9 months. While Chloe’s background is in family-related studies, and she’s volunteered as a youth mentor previously, Brian has been exploring a whole new world outside his corporate job and degree in engineering. Brian wants to put his volunteering efforts towards supporting kids saying, "all of these kids deserve an advocate and I want to keep learning and growing and getting better at being a CASA. I wouldn't say being a CASA is easy, but I don't think volunteers sign up for 'easy'."
"It is such a unique volunteer experience and it unlocked areas I was unfamiliar with in the child welfare system and court system, and it helped me build confidence as a young professional," says Chloe. "The staff at the CASA office keep me motivated. They are truly some of the most inspiring, genuine, and motivating people I know. Whenever I have a question, concern, or if a hearing is overwhelming, I am always met with so much kindness, respect, and goodness from everyone in the office.”
Although still somewhat new himself, Brian’s advice for those just starting would be to remember you are not doing this on your own. He says, "The CASA staff is fabulous. Your Volunteer Coordinator is there to help you think through things, navigate the process, suggest resources, and be your sounding board.” Brian told us, "I wouldn't say being a CASA is easy, but I don't think CASA/GAL volunteers sign up for 'easy'." Chloe adds, "Don't doubt yourself- you wouldn't have been given this opportunity if you weren't ready."
We thank you both for being a part of our CASA family!