Advocate of the Year – 2020 Nominees
Nominee #1: Lois Stehlik
Lois, an advocate since October 2017, has continually remained a steady and outstanding CASA over the last 2 ½ years. Throughout the last year specifically, Lois has served two cases and four children and has provided her CASA youths with top quality advocacy.
To share more specifically, Lois’s advocacy has spanned from young children to older teens. As anyone would expect with this range, the children involved not only have different needs in general, but they need different types of advocacy. When Lois was assigned a 19-year-old, the experience was unlike her previous advocacy, but that did not scare her away. She took every chance to learn more about tailoring her tasks in order to meet her 19-year old’s needs, which included changing the style of her visits and helping her CASA child through college, jobs, getting a license and eventually aging out of foster care and moving into her own place. No matter which child she was serving, though, Lois always worked hard to be an active and involved adult in their lives; she was known to attend special events like honor roll assemblies, dance shows, and church programs.
Lois’s cases have not come without conflict or hardship, but she has handled setbacks with grace and has ALWAYS stayed committed to what’s best for the children. She is not afraid to speak up and be the only one in court who differs on an opinion, and she fights hard for her CASA kids and their best interest, no matter the cost to her.
In addition, Lois is a shining example of thoughtfulness. Her thoughtfulness is apparent in every case she works on and in every interaction she has. She forms meaningful and lasting connections with all of her CASA kids and with each of the parties involved. She’s taken time to send a note of encouragement to a caregiver in one of her cases, and on multiple occasions, parties from Lois’s cases have shared how much they love and appreciate all that she does.
Finally, One of our favorite things about Lois is that is a frequent visitor to the CASA office. She is always popping by to check in with staff, attend advocate outings and participate in CASA hosted in-services. By the end of 2019, she had accumulated more in-service hours than almost any other advocate! There are many stories we could share about Lois and examples of how she has gone above and beyond over the last year. She is a blessing to her children, and we are so grateful she is a part of the CASA program.