Volunteer Spotlight: Shirley Wair

Shirley Wair photo

Ms. Shirley Wair

Before I retired I heard about the CASA program on Dr. Phil show, he often talked about it just before the show ended, urging people to get involved. I went online and read about the CASA program in Prince George’s County, where I live, and decided to take the training.  I took the training in the winter of 2012 – 2013. In the summer of 2013, I was assigned a beautiful young girl, who was then 10 years old.

I have been a volunteer for a little over 3 years now. I feel so honored and blessed to be a part of the life of such a beautiful and kind young girl. I have seen her go through some changes, having been placed in several different homes over the last 3 years. I saw her come from a withdrawn and a bit scary place, wondering how her future would look. She was placed in a home with three of her sisters, which tremendously helped her feel more secure.   After several months, she started to be more relaxed with me and open up.  I was always conscious of the time it would take her to trust me.  I had to be patient with her and let her lead the way to secure the trust she needed to be comfortable with me.  I knew it was important to be a constant in her life, as well.  She has been in one-on-one counseling with a therapist that she trusts, who is dedicated to helping her. This has been a blessing for her, helping her to stay positive and remain hopeful about her future.

I am grateful for the relationship that we have established over these 3 years.   I feel blessed to be able to be there for her and it will be hard to relinquish my CASA role in her life.  That may happen in a couple of months since her foster parents (biological cousins) are now being considered as her adoptive parents!  That is a great thing for her!  She has always wanted to be adopted.  She and I have talked about this and we agree that we want to continue to be friends and stay in touch – that makes me happy.

I hope to continue as a CASA. I believe that in time of need we can all complete each other in some way.