Volunteering in her community has always been a part of Kerri Harrington’s life and a value her mother instilled in her. A friend suggested Kerri consider CASA because she’d always had the courage to speak for those who didn’t have a voice. Kerri was intrigued by the idea of becoming a CASA and thought she would take it on during retirement, but the transition to virtual CASA training two years ago allowed her to take on this important work now.
Throughout Kerri’s life, she’s been drawn to working with children. Her experiences in the Peace Corps working with children in schools and orphanages in Kazakhstan shaped her understanding and empathy for society’s most vulnerable members. She knew this would be a challenging volunteer job, but with the support of her program manager and fellow CASAs, she has found great success in doing this critical child advocacy work. She added, “It’s also nice to have friends and family who support the volunteer work you do.”
Kerri has worked on two cases in her two years as a CASA advocate. At the start, she was shocked at the number of children in the family court system and the limited resources available to support those needing help. This helped her discover more of her own empathy seeing the challenges these families are facing and is driven to remain a part of the CASA program to try and help. Kerri explained, “No matter the turmoil in the case, everyone involved works to ensure that the needs of the child are always first.”
Kerri shared, “You can make an impact in one child’s life which makes a difference in the community as a whole.” She has discovered this advocacy work makes a significant impact and can interrupt the cycle of abuse and/or neglect for generations to come. “I encourage everyone to consider this volunteer opportunity. If you are thinking you can do it, you can.”
There is a serious shortage of CASA advocates for children in the North Country who have experienced abuse or neglect.