Julia, a psychology major at Athabasca University, has been a volunteer at CASA since January 2021. She has jumped at any opportunity to get involved and provide support to programs, services and events.
Over the past year, Julia has contributed a whopping 75 hours to assist with childminding support at various CASA locations. Read about what motivates this CASA champion, including her self-care routine, below!
What motivated you to get involved with CASA?
I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact CASA has on children’s lives, presently and in the long term. My experience at CASA was what made me go to school for psychology and is the main reason behind why I want to be a child psychologist.
Can you describe your volunteer involvement at CASA? What programs or events do you support?
I have volunteered in the support stream and the clinical stream. In the support stream, I participated in the annual Golf Classic and casino fundraisers, as well as Christmas decorating at CASA House. In the clinical stream, I took on childminding for CASA House, FASTRACS and anxiety groups in IPS and Core.
What is your biggest gain from volunteering at CASA? Is there an achievement or contribution you’re most proud of?
My biggest gain from CASA is knowledge and experience. I have learned so much from the staff and children that I could never learn in a class. CASA has taught me how to look at things from different perspectives, which have not only benefited my education, but also my personal relationships. CASA has also presented me with other beneficial opportunities such as the Family Smart Working Well Together Training.
With so many great organizations to support, why should others choose to support CASA?
CASA provides support and services to children, youth and families who need them, and you can help them do that. I learned in my schooling that childhood and adolescence is a critical period where mental health difficulties can take a drastic toll and have negative effects later in life.
Not only does CASA provide a vast number of services and supports, but they also provide a caring, inclusive and together-centred environment across the entire organization. They are dedicated to reducing the negative impacts of mental health early on, and ensure families are supported and have the tools they need to help themselves and their loved ones.
How do you take care of your mental health?
I take at least one hour each day to do something calming, where I don’t think about what I have going on in my life. This sometimes looks like reading a book, doing activities with my toddler, watching a movie, baking or crafting.
If you were superhero, what would your superpower be?
I would want the ability to clone myself. There are always a hundred things in my head that I want to do, whether it’s activities, projects, experiences or everyday tasks. I’d be able to fulfill all my goals in less time and definitely get my laundry done quicker!
For more information on becoming a CASA volunteer like Julia, visit www.casamentalhealth.org/volunteer!