Category Archives: Newsletter | June 2019

Training Specialist Arbor Buchanan Retiring

The year was 2004. Arbor Buchanan had left her post as a foster care caseworker for the Department of Human Services. She loved the children she served and wanted to help, but she just couldn’t do that job anymore. She was exhausted and broken-hearted. During her time with the department, Arbor was introduced to CASA. But, she never could have imagined what that organization would eventually mean to her.

National CASA Conference 2018

It’s been fifteen years since she was hired as a part-time Advocate Supervisor. At the time, our chapter was only serving 250 children a year. Eventually, Arbor transitioned from supervising volunteers to her current position as our full-time Training Specialist. When she retires this June, Arbor will have prepared nearly 600 new advocates for service! Her performance and passion gained the attention of our colleagues at National CASA, and she was selected to serve on the National Curriculum Development Committee. Her efforts contributed to a redesign of training materials that are used by CASA programs nationwide today.

Arbor touched the lives of hundreds of advocates and children during her tenure here. She absolutely loved starting a new training class and helping her students evolve into powerful champions of children. She loved that “our organization was constantly evolving for the better.” She’s going to miss her CASA family, and we will miss her terribly. But, she is very excited about the next chapter in her life which will give her time to enjoy her wife and family, gardening, sewing, and of course, her three donkeys.

Arbor with her office mate Katie at Celebration of Success 2019

We are grateful for all Arbor has done to move the needle for our organization and children, and we cannot imagine our office without her. If you would like to share your words of gratitude or encouragement, you can email her here! And, if you would like to find Arbor later this year, take a wander through Winslow. Look for a loving woman whose tender heart and compassion you will see from miles away.

Volunteer Spotlight: Christine Scott & Tiajuana Gough

Tiajuana at Celebration of Success 2018

Driving to her first CASA training class, Tiajuana Gough was so nervous she thought about turning around. As she reached Springdale, she realized that every single stoplight she passed was green. She took it as a sign that she was meant to keep going. At that first training class, Tiajuana met Christine Scott. Quickly, they decided they should partner up and work a case together. Five years later, they’re still serving side-by-side.

When volunteers choose to serve cases together, their work is strengthened by the unique experiences and perspectives that each one brings to the table. They are united by a common desire to help. Before discovering CASA, Christine had tried other volunteer opportunities, but thought, “There has to be more.” Now advocating for seven CASA kids simultaneously, Christine and Tiajuana have all the “more” they can handle.

If we’re to be completely honest, these dedicated women have gained quite a reputation around town. DHS caseworkers, school employees, and family members of their CASA kids have separately contacted our office to let us know what incredible advocates they are. No matter how hard the case, Christine and Tiajuana serve with professionalism and kindness, and most importantly, without judgment.

Christine at Long-term Case Appreciation Night

While some of their cases have ended happily, there is one that still sits heavily on their hearts. Christine and Tiajuana started advocating for a sibling set four years ago. Despite their best efforts, two of the children, now teenagers, remain in care. The siblings struggle, as most children who have faced such trauma do, in understanding their place in a world without parents. While these children’s futures are uncertain, two things haven’t changed: Christine and Tiajuana.

With five years of service behind them, is CASA retirement in sight for these two ladies? Not a chance!  Wrapping up our interview, Christine chuckled, “The lights are all green now. No red lights for us!” That’s something we can all be thankful for.