As a Senior Director for Walmart, Wayne has his hands full. He juggles a job, his family, and community responsibilities. Yet, when he attended our Light of Hope special event years ago, he knew he had to make room for CASA. He quickly signed up for volunteer training and began what he considers “not an ordinary volunteer job.” He was startled to learn what a lot of our young children face – being bounced from place to place and being exposed to things they should never see in their lifetimes.
In one such case, a young girl had been sexually abused and was being pushed to testify by the prosecuting attorney in the criminal case. Having past experience as a prosecutor in Florida, Wayne knew the additional trauma and anxiety this would place on the child. He felt they could make the case without her testimony. Wayne called, emailed, and pleaded to protect the girl, and his persistence paid off. Under the intense pressure, the perpetrator confessed and the child received the closure she needed without experiencing additional trauma. You have to wonder, without Wayne, would that child have been heard?
While it isn’t always easy to find the time, serving as an advocate has enriched Wayne’s personal and professional life. He speaks openly about his advocacy and has encouraged many, including his wife Olga, to join our team of advocates. And, nearly four years later, he’s still volunteering. “My thought is if you can help one child get right in life and get them the tools they need to become successful and function in an ever-changing world . . . that’s what keeps driving me.”