CASA volunteer highlight: Dave Breingan
Ryan Summerlin January 13, 2013
I worked with kids through a couple different jobs and volunteer organizations in Pittsburgh and I absolutely loved it. After moving to Colorado last year I really missed that part of my life, so I wanted to start working with kids again. I also had a lot of experience inside the juvenile courts and some of those experiences left a bad taste in my mouth. With so many competing interests inside the courtroom, it’s easy for the focus to be lost on what’s in the best interest of the child. CASA makes sure that kids have a strong voice inside the courtroom, so when I heard about the work they do it seemed like a perfect match.
I’ve been a CASA volunteer since May. I’ve worked with one child and I’m about to start working with two more now.
Some kids have been dealt bad cards through no fault of their own, and that’s a real injustice. Being a CASA volunteer is a real way to make sure the voice of those kids gets heard. It can be emotionally difficult at times, but it’s incredibly rewarding.
For me, the best part of being a CASA volunteer is the relationship you build with the child and knowing that you’ve made a positive difference in that kid’s life. I see that positive difference when the kid I work with introduces me as his “brother” or when he lights up when I come to visit. It’s also rewarding to know you’re helping the court process run more effectively. Everyone inside the courtroom takes the CASA’s role seriously, so you know that the information and recommendations that you provide are going to be considered when decisions are made that can have huge and permanent consequences in a child’s life.
I work at the Keystone Lodge & Spa. I also tutor high school math and I work with SOS Outreach as a Sherpa. If I’m not working or volunteering there’s a good chance I’m on the ski slopes or reading a good book with some Robert Johnson playing in the background.