Advocate Spotlight: CASA Candice LIFTS UP Her Foster Youth

Back to school is a time that makes us all a bit nostalgic. We watch the children in our lives put their backpacks on and head back to school after a summer off. It may also be a time when we reminisce about the impact someone had when we were students.

However, for many of our young people in foster care, back to school is less exciting and a bit more daunting. Perhaps a change in placement or a move could mean a new school, with unfamiliar classmates and unknown teachers. These youth need a trusted adult in their lives, someone who will be there for them during this transition. When our youth have a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in their corner, the chances of success in school become far greater.

I’m asking you to make an impact in the lives of foster youth, like Nadia, by making a donation today.

Nearly 10 years ago CASA Candice was paired with then 9-year-old Nadia. Candice was drawn to Nadia because she was always a joy to be around, outgoing and fun-loving. Nadia was living in a group home and Candice knew she could use a trusted adult in her life. The two formed a fast relationship and bonded over many things. The impact Candice would have in Nadia’s life would be something neither of them could have imagined.

During their first visits, Candice liked to bring small gifts to help Nadia feel comfortable. As their relationship and trust grew, Candice got into the habit of bringing Tic Tacs when Nadia had done well in school.

Four years ago, as an incoming high school freshman, Candice encouraged Nadia to attend a Child Advocates of Silicon Valley summer event designed to help incoming freshmen be successful in high school so they can attend college. While there, Nadia pledged to herself and Candice that she would do just that, no matter what.

Nadia’s high school years weren’t without struggle. An older sibling was quickly heading down a rough road, which Nadia could have easily followed. Through it all, she relied on her relationship with Candice, and a lot of Tic Tacs, to help guide her and keep her on the path toward graduation, and eventually, college. Their conversations about the future always focused on “when” you go to college, not “if.”

In June 2023, Nadia walked across the stage at her high school graduation, with Candice in the audience cheering her on! After graduation, Nadia and Candice attended another Child Advocates of Silicon Valley event, this time for recent high school graduates.

Nadia was so proud of herself and enjoyed every moment of the celebration, even taking advantage of the opportunity to take a fun photo with her dependency court judge.

Now, as Nadia enters college, Candice is still by her side, offering support, guidance and even more Tic Tacs.

It is because of your generosity, that we are able to support Candice’s ability to be there for Nadia. As the new school year begins, I humbly ask that you help us LIFT UP more foster youth, like Nadia, by making a donation today:

Together, we can help foster children and youth achieve academic success.