Emily Vizcarra, CASA Volunteer – Voices for Children, Riverside County
CASA volunteer Emily Vizcarra was just 21 when she became an advocate with Voices for Children’s CASA program in Riverside County, and was among the first volunteers graduated after Voices for Children of San Diego County decided to help rebuild their neighboring county’s program.
In fact, Emily was so eager to learn about becoming a CASA that she attended an information session in San Diego, later attending CASA training in Riverside.
Emily was motivated to volunteer because she felt she’d been very fortunate in life: she had a loving family, happy upbringing in Lake Elsinore, and was able to attend college on a full-ride softball scholarship. “I wanted to give back and I wanted to help somebody,” said Emily, who recently graduated from Cal State Fullerton. That “somebody” was Violet, a five-year-old with no known family besides her abusive parents. After Emily was matched with Violet, she would visit the little girl weekly at her foster placement. They played games, colored together, and went to the park, while Emily worked behind-the-scenes with Violet’s social worker and foster family to ensure her needs were met. Then, some months later, it was discovered that Violet had an aunt in Texas, and it was decided that it would be in Violet’s best interest for her to be with family. She and Emily had a tearful, bittersweet goodbye. “She’s so sweet and smart, and will soon be officially adopted by her aunt.” Until the adoption is finalized, Emily is still Violet’s CASA, and plans to take on another case.