CASA volunteer Melissa experienced an exciting journey involving the young girl she served on her first case. She honed her Spanish skills and worked to secure a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status visa for a young teen mom when she learned of a young child’s desperate need for a CASA volunteer. The child from Guatemala, with a rare, chronic neurological condition, was abandoned by her mother at a school in Georgia. Melissa volunteered to take on the case as she had become familiar with resources for undocumented children and believed, if nothing else, she could simply be there for this child while she was in foster care. Melissa attended multiple meetings and had conversations with the Guatemalan Consulate. She stayed in constant communication with the child’s grandparents in Guatemala, even making extra visits to facilitate video calls between the child and her family. Melissa attended neurology and physical therapy appointments to understand this child’s condition, development, and needs. She worked with people in the community to seek a donation for a new wheelchair for the child. Melissa contacted medical flights and airlines to figure out the best options for the child to reunify with her family.
Today, the young girl has been reunified with her grandparents in Guatemala! She was accompanied on her flight to Guatemala by her CASA volunteer Melissa, her DFCS case manager, and the Georgia DFCS Director. Thanks to the investment they all had in her well-being, she is doing well in her home country!