20 More Years

As some of you might know, Child Advocates – Denver CASA is going to be 20 years old next year. That’s an official birthday based on when the organization was incorporated (more about that later).

Now 20 years got me thinking. Where was I 20 years ago? To be honest, I was working at a pre-school and planning a trip to India where I briefly met Mother Teresa. When I say “met” what I really mean is that I stood in a line, and when it was my turn to say something, I became absolutely speechless. She nodded like it was a familiar occurrence.

So how do you measure 20 years? It eventually dawned on me: 20 years is about a generation. It might be a little less than a full generation, but close enough. Child Advocates – Denver CASA has been serving children for a generation. That’s amazing. 20 years of children and youth. 20 years of CASA volunteers. 20 years of speaking up and doing what’s right. 20 years of people donating their time to the most vulnerable members of our community. I wish we could find some of those earliest kids and see how they are doing now. I’d love to find out what they remember. I wonder what they would say.

You probably don’t know this, but we have a bit of a debate going on within the CASA network. Which CASA program is the oldest? Part of the reason for this is that some programs started before being incorporated. So what does oldest mean? When the program started or when it became an actual CASA organization?

There’s mostly agreement on this, but the first CASA “program” actually started in Denver in the early eighties. It was created with the support of one of our strongest partners to this day: The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center. Yet there are many more. We intend to highlight and interview our partners as we move closer to our birthday.

I bet you’re curious. Which one was it? The first CASA “organization” started in Larimer County. But we got the ball rolling here. Despite the debate, I want to end with an even bigger question: What’s the Next 20 Years going to look like?