On Monday, October third I had the pleasure of watching my first group of advocate volunteers get sworn-in by Judge Tim Irwin at the Knox County Juvenile Courthouse. As this was my first group of trainees as the new Recruitment and Training Coordinator, I was thrilled to present to Judge Irwin six hardworking and dedicated volunteer trainees. Training to become a CASA advocate is no small endeavor and each of these new advocates proved time-and-again throughout the process that they were up to the task.

Our training was five weeks long, twice a week, for three hours a session. During this time trainees learned a great deal about the community that they will serve, the resources available to help them assist families, and essentially everything else you can imagine about the advocacy process that they’ll need to know to get through their first case and beyond.

It was apparent from the beginning that each and every one of these individuals has a heart to serve the community and that for each of them, the best interest of children is at the forefront of their mission. The camaraderie made for fun classes and the diversity of backgrounds meant that we often engaged in lively conversations. The end result is that CASA of East Tennessee, Inc. now has six new advocates who will serve the children with dedication and passion. I am really looking forward to seeing their love for service translated into powerful advocacy for children in Knox County.

-Melissa Miller, Recruitment and Training Coordinator