The following was submitted by one of our longtime volunteers who requested that we not use her name:
"I was told from the time I remember at a young age that I would "never amount to anything", no college would ever want me and I would be a failure. I was beaten often by my mother and older sister and if it was today, they would be in jail. I hid under a piano bench in Sunday school and refused to talk when I was in Kindergarten for fear I would be criticized. My life was filled with criticism so I was very shy and quiet. I started working when I was 11 years old and gave money to my parents to pay bills which gave me some satisfaction. I wrote down some goals one day because I really wanted to be somebody and hid that paper in a junk drawer that was never opened. They were dream goals that seemed unattainable at that time. Years later when we moved my mother from the family home, I found that wadded up paper. The goals were not in order, but they were amazingly met. Both my mother and sister have passed away and I forgave them long ago for all their abuse. However, I have not shared my past publicly because my mother was well known in town and I couldn't destroy the respect she had from friends who were still alive. I recall horrible memories of my childhood but I also believe that "God restores the years that the locusts have eaten" and I am living those restored years. My husband jokingly asks me if I think I finally proved that I'm not a failure because he knows my past. I am thankful where I am today and take the opportunity to encourage others when given the opportunity. My testimony is that you must overcome the negatives in your life with faith, goals and direction. The little withdrawn girl who wouldn't talk and was sent to speech class now has a degree in Speech Communication and Marketing. That little girl also has grown up to have great concern for children who may have the same or other sad circumstances they are living with today. That's why I want to be a CASA volunteer!"