Welcome our newest CASAs, the Winter 2022 class!

On Wednesday, February 16, 2022, Fairfax CASA welcomed nine new CASA volunteers to the program! The Swearing-In Ceremony, held once again (and hopefully for the last time) over Zoom, was attended by the new CASA volunteers, their families and friends, CASA Staff, and the Honorable Thomas P. Sotelo, Chief Judge of the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. These newly minted CASAs join the over 1,800 citizens who previously stood before the Court, swearing to uphold the responsibilities asked of them by our legislature, our CASA program, and the Court. Having completed training on topics including childhood development, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health, and cultural competency, the new advocates also shadowed a veteran CASA during a court hearing, totaling over 35 hours of intense and diverse training.

Each training class receives a nickname from the Fairfax CASA Staff, and this group became known as the “C4s,” reflecting their collective characteristics of being calm, concise, and collegial CASAs. Throughout the training, the new advocates demonstrated mindfulness, critical analysis in their learning, and a genuine spirit of collaboration. Executive Director Darcy Hubbard reflected on the duty these new advocates are stepping into, reminding them that “your role is unique. It can be challenging but equally rewarding.”

The Honorable Thomas P. Sotelo shared poignant remarks introducing the Court and how he values the CASA program and CASA volunteers before administering the CASA oath. Judge Sotelo impressed how vital their role is by stating, “As a CASA, you are a core stakeholder to the Court.” He also expressed his gratitude to the new advocates, thanking them for answering “the call to serve.” The nine new CASA volunteers were sworn into service and are now ready to advocate for the best interests of Fairfax County’s most vulnerable citizens: children who are overcoming abuse and neglect.

Executive Director Darcy Hubbard closed the ceremony with the following quote from the late Fred Rogers:

“When I was very young, most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”

The entire Fairfax CASA community is honored to welcome these new heroes to the program. The differences they will make in the lives of the abused and neglected children they serve will truly make them heroes.