As a boy, my three sisters and I suffered just about every form of abuse you can imagine—emotional and physical attacks by my mother, later sexual abuse by her and her boyfriend. When I was 13 years old, we were all removed from our home. After that, I bounced around, from a children’s emergency shelter to an aunt’s house, then back to the shelter. There was so much I did not know about the foster care system. Without knowledge or the power to speak up, I felt like a victim.
A year and a half later, I met my CASA volunteer, Robert. And everything changed.
Robert taught me how to communicate, how to represent myself and my needs. He helped me understand what was happening in court and taught me how to stand up for myself.