Sarah Reist is a huge animal fan. She has a dog and a cat and lives close to a humane society, a dangerous move for someone who loves animals as much as she does. She also enjoys camping, watching scary movies, and cooking when she has the time. Originally from Indianapolis, Sarah moved to Nashville for law school after completing her undergraduate studies at Indiana University and “fell in love with the city.” She received a dual degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology with a minor in Sociology, and now practices family law in Nashville (custody matters, divorces, stepparent adoptions, etc).
Sarah has worked with CASA volunteers and advocate supervisors on many cases and has seen how helpful they can be. “I’ve seen CASA volunteers make a real difference,” says Sarah, “and the more contested the case is, the more helpful the CASA volunteers are. Sometimes parents have trouble putting aside what they are going through to think about what’s really going to be the best for the child, so it is helpful to have that voice there for the child.” Now Sarah herself will get to be that voice: “I want to help children during some of the most difficult times of their lives.”
Sarah has been a part of the legal system for a while now and knows how the court system works and what kind of resources she can use as a CASA volunteer. However, Sarah thinks that people from all ends of the career spectrum can be volunteers. Sarah said that before she went through the training she expected a lot of the material to be review for her but was surprised at just how much she learned. “It was really, really helpful. The advocate supervisors did a great job of explaining things and I think I had more questions than anyone else in the class.”
Sarah urges those considering becoming CASA volunteers to go through the training. She enjoyed the classes and her classmates and thinks that the training does a great job of showing how helpful CASA volunteers can really be. “I understand the hesitation because it seems so unfamiliar and intimidating at first,” says Sarah, “but all the CASA people I’ve worked with (advocate supervisors and volunteers) have been SO willing to answer questions. No question is ‘stupid’ in their eyes.”
We at CASA Nashville are so impressed with the work that Sarah already does and are so excited to have her join us as a CASA volunteer.
Sarah is for the child because “too many times I have seen parents lose sight of what is truly in the best interests of their children and I hope to be able to serve as a voice on the child’s behalf.”
Thank you for your commitment to the best interests of the child, Sarah, and welcome aboard.