Meet Jen, your CASA Volunteer Info Session host.

Posted on January 31st, 2020

Have you been thinking about attending a Volunteer Info Session? When you decide you’re ready to learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, Jen Dean will walk you through your first step of the process—attending a Volunteer Information Session. And we assure you, you’re in good hands. A CASA herself, Jen knows what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone brand new to the experience.

“I always encourage people who are on the fence to at least come to an info session because they really have nothing to lose,” said Jen. “Everyone who comes learns about something really important happening in our community and even if they discover this opportunity isn’t for them, they usually know someone who would be a good fit.”

Volunteer Information Sessions are held regularly at the Child Advocates Office. You can expect a relaxed and welcoming environment with plenty of snacks and no high-pressure sales pitch.

“We really want people to make an informed decision before becoming a CASA, so there’s no arm-twisting,” said Jen. “The goal is for our guests to get a real picture of what it looks like to be the voice of a child in the system and decide if the opportunity is right for them.”

Volunteer Info Sessions are not a formal training, so don’t expect to leave knowing everything about being a CASA, just plan on getting your most important questions answered. Many who are contemplating becoming a CASA ask about things like making an impact and the emotional toll volunteering can take. Here’s what Jen says about those topics.

“It’s heart work,” said Jen. “There will be tough days, but without a doubt you will make an impact. Even if it feels small, as a CASA you are significant to that child.”

Jen has worked in the volunteer department at Child Advocates for five years. She and her husband, Anthony, are proud parents of two children, Anika, a freshman in college, and Quentin, a junior in high school. Jen loves The University of Iowa Hawkeyes (her alma mater), mom life and is a self-professed DIY-er.

Dates for our upcoming Info Sessions can be found here.