Whitney Hoskins loves listening to live music, watching the trees change colors in the fall, doing yoga, cooking, and exploring Nashville, her home since June of this year.
But Nashville isn’t the only new adventure that Whitney has undertaken this year. Eager to get involved in ways to serve others here in her new city, Whitney was drawn to the CASA Nashville program with a strong desire to live her life for others. She heard about CASA through word-of-mouth and when she looked into it, thought, “This is perfect, this is what I want to do.” She completed her training and graduated on November 10th along with eight other new volunteers.
“Part of the reason I chose to be a mentor and get involved in CASA is this quote: ‘Service is our rent for living.’ And I believe that, so I want to give back,” says Whitney.
Whitney loves working with children, and back home in Charleston, South Carolina, she was a mentor as well as a Bible study teacher for young children. “I especially love working with children in this particular environment, who come through CASA and need resources and people to stand up for them. I think it’s a very important part of our system, helping those who can’t speak for themselves and need a voice.”
Last month, Whitney also applied to the University of Tennessee’s Master of Social Work Program. After volunteering in different arenas for so many years, Whitney decided, “I want to do this everyday, all day; this is what I love!” Cue her hopeful journey to becoming a social worker.
Whitney recognizes that in this season of her life she could choose to live selfishly, but wants to push against that, stating “But I don’t want to live selfishly, I want to live for others.”
She acknowledges her own fears as she takes on this new role of CASA volunteer, but doesn’t want that to stop her or anyone else who is thinking about becoming a volunteer. “If you’re worried about messing up, wondering if you will make a wrong decision for a child, know that that decision is not entirely yours, and that at the end of the day it is the judge who makes that determination. You just do the best you can and what you think is right.”
Whitney continues, stating, “If you have the time, there’s no reason not to do it. We were all children once, we know what they need, even if you don’t think you can relate to a child, you were once a child.”
She also strongly advocates for more men to get involved as CASA volunteers, “because there is a need there.”
Whitney also encourages others to get involved in other volunteer opportunities for at-risk children, like after-school tutoring, if CASA is too much of a time commitment at the moment. “I think everyone has something they can contribute; get involved in your community in some way. If you can’t serve for CASA, serve somewhere!”
Whitney is for the child because “Every child is valuable and full of promise, regardless of any situation beyond their control. I want every child to shine and accomplish their full potential.”
Thank you, Whitney, for your dedication to service, your eagerness to embrace new challenges, and your heart for the children and families that CASA comes alongside.
Take a chance.
Lift up a child’s voice. A child’s life.™
Find out more about CASA here.