Local woman named CASA’s top volunteer for January

Published 11:15 am Tuesday, January 16, 2024

NEWS RELEASE

Lincoln County resident Priscilla Miller has been named a CASA Volunteer of the Month for January 2024.

Miller has been a CASA volunteer serving abused and neglected children in Lincoln County for a little over a year.

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“It has been an amazing journey for me to be able to give back to the community and be able to advocate for a child,” Miller said. “I wasn’t sure if I had the time, but I gave it a try and it has been a bigger blessing for me to give back. And I love it because the CASA family is amazing!”

Jennifer Lamb, Miller’s Volunteer Manager, nominated her for the Volunteer of the Month honor because of how she has supported her CASA child and consistently advocated for his best interests.

“Priscilla has had to make some tough recommendations, but she has always stood firmly behind the facts and having this child’s well-being and safety as her primary concern,” Lamb said. “I have no doubt she will remain in this child’s life and continue to be a source of stability for him.”

CASA volunteers complete a training class and then are matched with children in the local family court system who have suffered abuse or neglect. While social workers and attorneys routinely work dozens of cases at once, CASA volunteers can focus in on one case at a time, volunteering for about 5-10 hours a month.

“The work I do with CASA is valuable because I provide the communication the judge would never get from the child,” Miller said. “A lot of times, the judge never sees the child. As a CASA, I can attach pictures. I can let the judge know who this child actually is. I have that opportunity to speak up for the child.”

The CASA program serving Lincoln and Garrard counties is currently the fastest growing program based on population size in the state.

“Our growth in Lincoln County is essential because our rate of child abuse and neglect is above the state average. That means there are many kids in need of someone to speak up for them right now,” said Melynda Jamison, Executive Director.

Miller said she strongly recommends others sign up to become CASA volunteers — because of the difference they can make for kids in need, and because of the culture inside the CASA program.

“The atmosphere with CASA is great! It’s a family,” she said. “I’m telling you — you think you can’t do it? Yes, you can. Everybody can be a voice, an advocate for a child. It’s just such a blessing and once you start, the rewards you get back are amazing.”

The next training for new CASA volunteers in Lincoln and Garrard counties begins Jan. 23 in Lancaster. A complete schedule of training dates is available at www.casaoflexington.org/training and you can apply to be a CASA volunteer at www.casaoflexington.org/apply.