Meet Our Advocates: Ehi Oiyemhonlan

In honor of Foster Care Awareness Month, we are featuring Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer, Ehi Oiyemhonlan, for his exceptional work SHOWING UP for foster youth. Read on to get to know him beyond his advocacy.

CASA Volunteer: Ehi Oiyemhonlan (Ay-Hee Oh-Yah-Milan), (He/Him/His)

Years of Service with Child Advocates of Silicon Valley: 3 

Number of Children Served: 3 

Ehi Oiyemhonlan’s desire to give back to his community is rooted in his pursuit to make the world a better place, one child at a time. An electrical engineer at Intel, Ehi’s volunteerism began in college when he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. After completing his undergraduate studies, Ehi joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization where he mentored several children. Ehi served as a big brother for several years before seeking further opportunities to support youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and completing the extensive training to become a CASA Volunteer.

Ehi immediately took a case and embraced the responsibility of providing a voice for his foster youth, both inside and outside the courtroom. Last month, Ehi’s youth shared that he was being bullied and no longer wished to attend school, a disclosure that Ehi appreciated was sensitive and took great vulnerability. As a CASA, Ehi has the ability to communicate with the school, and he lept into action, emailing the principal directly. They met and agreed on a plan that proved to be successful because Ehi’s foster youth has not experienced bullying since. 

“I often talk to my mentee about sensitive topics , particularly regarding race. Having to explain some of the challenges that we may face today because of the color of our skin and letting him know that regardless of how members of society may look at him or perceive him, he can accomplish anything that he wants to do in life, and I am an example of it. To this day, even though I am an electrical engineer, I still deal with racism and prejudice. It’s an unfortunate reality in life but if you put energy, focus and dedication to your goals, you can achieve anything in this world.” – Ehi Oiyemhonlan

Becoming a CASA has opened Ehi’s eyes to the effects of trauma and how it impacts foster youth. He prioritizes creating positive childhood experiences to actively promote healing and help his CASA youths achieve success, just as others supported him. 

“Being able to put myself in those kids’ shoes is critical to being a good CASA. When you exude empathy, garner trust and provide a healthy forum for no-judgment conversations, then you can better support these kids…The goal is to provide [them] with a different outlook on life. Most kids that I’ve worked with don’t have prior knowledge of what an engineer is or does—not to mention someone that looks like them is able to attain such a profession. It makes me happy to talk with my mentees about the world of engineering, they are captivated and a seed is planted in their brains. In fact, after learning about what an engineer does, one of my kids wants to become an engineer also. It’s moments like this that make my experience as a CASA so memorable and rewarding.”  – Ehi Oiyemhonlan

Ehi truly exemplifies what it means to be an advocate, and we cannot say enough about his incredible work as a CASA Volunteer. His dedication to SHOWING UP and providing the assistance, guidance, and encouragement his foster youth need to reach their goals does not go unnoticed, and it is because of people like him that our community stands so strong. 

“This experience overall has made me a better human being. I want to leave this world better than how it was when I came to it. We all occupy space in this world and we must pay rent for that space. I pay my rent by helping children that come from disadvantaged backgrounds excel in all aspects of their life. I am making the world a better place one child at a time and cultivating future black engineers.” – Ehi Oiyemhonlan

Fun Facts About Ehi:

Favorite Movies: “Gladiator” and “Love Jones”

Favorite Books: Attached, the 5 Love Languages series, The Art of War, The 48 Laws of Power, A Shark Never Sleeps and Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Favorite Artists: Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, DMX, 2Pac, Biggie, Naz, Jay Z, Fela Kuti, Future, Rick Ross, Snoh Aalegra, Ray Charles and Burna Boy

Favorite Food: The Grand View, Mastros, LB Steakhouse, Nobu   

Favorite Hobbies: Working out (health is wealth!), spending time with family and friends, fashion and traveling, learning about different cultures, wine tasting, going to comedy shows and live sporting events. 

Support Foster Youth Today

Here are just a few of the ways you can SHOW UP for foster youth this month: 

  1. Support our CASA Program and invest in our foster youth with a financial contribution. If your company offers a donation matching program, visit Double the Donation.
  1. Become a Corporate Champion by sponsoring an activity or one of our fundraising events. Email us at development@childadvocatessv.org to learn how your company can be a part of the solution for foster kids.
  1. Shop for clothing, toiletries, toys, and school supplies for our foster kids by visiting our Amazon Wish List.