Occupation: Student Accountability Coordinator, Hyattsville Middle School
CASA program affiliation: Prince George’s County
Volunteer for: Transitioning youth, youth with disabilities
Motivation: When Nathaniel first came to CASA he was deeply motivated by the plight of youth with disabilities. In many ways it is excruciatingly easy to get lost in the foster care system. Without the right services and attention, a youth can languish in assorted foster homes for their entire childhood, and age out without any skills (either professional or emotional) to sustain them. This risk is heightened for youth with disabilities, delays and mental health issues, who are less likely to be able to self-advocate. Nathaniel was moved to help those who couldn’t speak for the justice that they deserve.
Current case: Nathaniel’s current case is high priority and high need. Despite this, many people at CASA were convinced it was un-assignable from the youth’s out of state status. His youth had been in various out of state institutions for the past few years, and he only met her in person when she returned to Maryland quite recently (he was an instrumental part of that process). His youth has so many needs, and he has had close to daily contact with her and her caretakers. The magistrate assigned to the case especially appreciates his service and often relies on him for crucial information. Nathaniel’s successes in advocating for his youth include such diverse things as medication management, personal safety, appropriate placement, appropriate educational planning and general social/emotional support.