This week’s Volunteer Spotlight is featuring CASA volunteer Jennifer Ledford!
Jennifer has been immersed in the foster care world since she was in middle school and her very own parents decided to become foster parents. They would later turn into adoptive parents and Jennifer says, “My life would not be the same without all of my siblings, who I never would have met without the foster care process.” When she says “all of my siblings,” she’s talking about her sixteen siblings – both biological and adoptive! When Jennifer learned that some of her siblings had been in foster care for years and had many different placements before becoming part of the Ledford family, she quickly realized that the process wasn’t perfect. Now she wants to help protect and support kids who might be at risk of falling through the cracks, of languishing in the foster care system.
Jennifer has graduate degrees in Early Childhood Special Education and wants to use her knowledge and skills to help children who might have extra needs or delayed development. “But,” she adds, “I also think it’s important to point out that you don’t really need any extra skills to be a CASA – just a desire to work for a child’s best interest!”
When Jennifer is not working with students in Vanderbilt’s Department of Special Education, she enjoys spending time at home with close friends; she might be what you call a “social homebody.” Jennifer is also an avid reader, a “reluctant runner,” (I’m sure many of us are nodding our heads in understanding and agreement right now) and a traveler, both for fun and for work. And now, Jennifer is a CASA volunteer!
Jennifer would encourage potential volunteers to check out what CASA is all about. She suggests meeting with a CASA staff member or asking to speak with a CASA volunteer like her. “It’s a big responsibility, but with the potential for such a big reward. Can you think of anything better than making a significant positive impact on the life of an abused and neglected child?”
No, Jennifer, we can’t!
Thank you for making the decision to take on the responsibility and to make that significant positive impact!
Why is Jennifer for the child? Because “Sometimes it seems like there is no ideal solution for a child who has been abused or neglected. It is especially important for these kids to have someone who believes in them and in their chance to have their best life.”