Meet Gene Watkins

“I was a lawyer and a GAL in Atlanta, when I moved to Denver I applied to be a GAL and they told me the role that I’m looking for is a CASA. For me a CASA is different from any of the other roles I played”

What keeps you going in your toughest moments?

The short answer is love. The people you love, you treat differently from everyone else. You apply that same reaction that you would to your loved ones to a stranger.

What would you tell someone who was unsure about volunteering as a CASA?

My first response would be, don’t do it if you’re unsure. My second response would be to tell them about my experience. It’s important to go into this understanding what you’re getting into. It’s very easy to get emotionally involved and to get too emotionally involved is a problem.

What is the most difficult and rewarding thing for you about being a CASA?

The most difficult thing was realizing that my child had nobody. The most rewarding thing for me is just being there and being that person for him. I will be with him until we find something stable for him. We had a voices meeting two days after a traumatic surgery and when it came time for him to speak he said, “I just want to hang out with that guy!” (pointing to me!)

*CASA 2016-current