Volunteer Spotlight: Amanda Beale

Amanda BealeAge: 25 years old

Occupation: I am currently  a Student and a Mom.

Volunteer for: Anne Arundel County CASA

Motivation For Becoming a CASA: Since I was young I have always had a passion to help others. However, my passion became a little more specific when I entered foster care after a traumatic experience. I felt lost and disowned. Although my prior home wasn’t ideal for me, I grew up accustomed to the lifestyle I had encountered. Although I was undeserving of the tragic events that I had dealt with, I still felt that where I called home is where I belonged. As I personally began to witness the challenges of being a foster child, I wanted to help children and teens in foster care as well. I wanted to help because I could relate and that is something many of our children need; someone to relate to! When someone can relate, the child feels understood! The child also feels as if they can open up to the other person because they get it. I know firsthand just how misunderstood, alone, and confused feels like in foster care but somehow I survived those uncomfortable experiences. I survived those experiences because I was fortunate enough to have a few people in my corner who understood me and advocated for me when I struggled with expressing myself and my needs. I want to be able to make that same difference in a child’s life! My motivation to become a CASA stemmed from my personal experiences because I know how important it is to have someone who never gives up regardless of the challenges that come with the territory. That is my goal for each child I interact with!

Current Case: I currently have a 17 year old young lady who actually has a very similar case to mine when I was her age in foster care. She has faced many great challenges but has amazing potential to aspire into an amazing woman and I truly believe that she is overcoming those difficult barriers she has faced throughout life. As long as she continues to have the support she has in place now, I believe she will transition smoothly into adulthood!

Challenges Facing Today’s Foster Children & Youth:  The biggest challenge is being removed from home or family they have always known due to neglect or abuse. Those events are also the most traumatic. Because of the trauma, our youth faces difficulties in building and maintaining relationships. Our youth needs to have a consistent mentor or role model in their life to help guide and support them as they transition through care and into adulthood. While some children have been fortunate to become a part of a family and support system that isn’t altered, there are so many that don’t. I truly believe that the lack of consistency presents a huge barrier in their development and growth. When a child does not have someone or a group of people guiding, advocating, and supporting them with persistence, they often lose sight of what life is all about. There is more to life than just painful experiences but without ongoing and additional support, pain is something that they will always associate with life.