Eleven years and more than 20 CASA children later, Vicki Strimel is a volunteer who continues to be an incredible advocate for children in our community. Since being sworn in as a CASA volunteer in the fall of 2000, Vicki has helped those 20+ children have safe, stable homes where they’ve been able to thrive. Her calm demeanor and willingness to go above and beyond during a case have an even greater impact because she gives parents involved the respect, support and encouragement that makes a difference for the entire family. Being a CASA volunteer can be a challenging responsibility. So how has Vicki remained so committed and effective for more than a decade? We sat down with her to find out:

BuildingBlocks: How long have you volunteered with SCAN and what have you done as a volunteer?
Vicki: I’ve been a CASA for ten years.  My focus has been on each case I have been assigned, doing whatever I could to help children to be safe and to be nurtured.

BB:  Why did you decide to join SCAN as a volunteer?
Vicki: It was hard to resist an opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of children in our community.

BB:  Describe your favorite SCAN memory.
Vicki: There have been several occasions when I was present that parents in my cases graduated from Alexandria Drug Court.  The process for them was long and involved a lot of work and personal commitment. To witness the happiness and pride of these parents, their families and the professionals who helped them along the way has been my most cherished memory.  Lots of tears of joy have been shed! [BB: Wondering what Alexandria Drug Court is? More than 10 years ago, SCAN’s CASA Program and the Alexandria Juvenile Court collaborated on a Model Court Project. As part of that project, an Alexandria Family Drug Treatment Court (FDTC) was created to focus on parents entering substance abuse treatment more quickly and families being more likely to be reunited.]

BB: Why have you continued volunteering with SCAN?
Vicki: It has been a great experience for learning and emotionally rewarding for me as well.

BB: Has anything about being a SCAN volunteer surprised you?
Vicki: I have been both surprised and pleased to observe the level of commitment of those who work to help and support children and families.

BB: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  What do you do now?
Vicki: As a child, I thought about becoming a nurse, but as an adult, I became a Manager of Human Resources for a large consulting firm.  Now, I am retired from my profession but remain very active with my family, community and parish.

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