Volunteer Spotlight: Janet T. Mengel

Janet T. Mengel
  1. Name: Janet T. Mengel
  2. Service Site: I am a CASA volunteer in Worcester County MD and our office is in Downtown Berlin.
  3. How long have you been a CASA volunteer? I have been a CASA volunteer for 8 years.
  4. Work Experience outside of CASA: Before moving to the Eastern Shore, I worked for Howard County Office on Aging. I was an activity director for a Senior Plus program.
  5. How did you hear about CASA, and what made you decide to volunteer? I heard about CASA from a fundraiser they were having at the local hospital. I have always been interesting in advocating for children.
  6. Briefly describe your current CASA case: I am still active in my first case. When I became a CASA, I was assigned to the case of an eleven year old girl who had been removed from her home due to sexual abuse. She had some physical and mental disabilities and was put into emergency foster care. I have just been given a second case with very young children that are in the beginning stages.
  7. What sorts of activities do you and your CASA child/youth like to do together? We have done many things in eight years. We like to go to the library and work on homework. We have gone to dinner, the state fair, or to see Santa. Some of our best times were just spent together in the park nearby or baking cupcakes.
  8. What do you feel is the most rewarding part of being a CASA volunteer? The most rewarding part of being a CASA is the feeling of making a difference in a child’s life at a time when they really need someone who they can count on.
  9. What is one thing you would say to someone else interested in volunteering? To anyone who is considering being a CASA, I would encourage them to call their local CASA organization and schedule a time to go and discuss what is involved and the training schedule. I needed to find out if it was something I could do. It can be life changing in a wonderful way!
  10. How can CASA volunteers help to overcome the challenges faced by today’s youth? What CASA’s are doing to help overcome the challenges facing today’s youth is exposing ourselves to continuing education. That can be done through reading, attending seminars on numerous challenges that face our youth and also to share our own stories and experiences. There are so many CASA volunteers that come into the program with very diverse backgrounds and personalities. That makes the program much richer.