Congratulations to Sharon Howey for being selected as Louisiana’s CASA Volunteer of the Month!
Sharon resides in Northwest Louisiana and is a CASA volunteer for Volunteers for Youth Justice. She retired from the Air Force and now in her free time she enjoys crafting and serving others. Sharon is also is a mother of two daughters and a grandmother of six.
Sharon chose to volunteer with CASA because she wanted to make a difference in a child’s life who’s going through a difficult situation as well as being a support to the system. As for advice for fellow CASA volunteers, Ms. Howey says “Don’t be afraid to speak up when you think something is not right”. She also notes that it’s important to be open minded but it’s also okay to change your mind and amend your report when needed. Sharon says that the most important part of being a CASA volunteer is being a voice for those who do not have one.
“Sharon is one of the best volunteers and she enjoys what she does” says Volunteers for Youth Justice staff. “She loves a challenge and feels lost when she only has one case; when she does have more than one, she gives them all equal attention and never skips a beat.”
The mission of Louisiana CASA is to provide a well-trained CASA volunteer to advocate for every child in the judicial system due to abuse or neglect. Our mission would not be possible without the help of people like Sharon.
On behalf of the children we serve, thank you Sharon for your commitment and service.
About Volunteers for Youth Justice
In 1981, the Juvenile Court of Caddo Parish was overloaded with a significant number of youths. Initially arrested for minor offenses, they were “falling through the cracks”, only to later become repeat offenders.
During that same time period, several women from Shreveport’s First Presbyterian Church were attending a women’s conference in Montreat, North Carolina. Jim Watkins, a Presbyterian minister, taught a seminar, “Behind Closed Doors – A Workshop on Criminal and Juvenile Justice”, highlighting a program that was established in Atlanta, Georgia to address similar youth challenges.
Carolyn W. Beaird, Marjorie B. Winkler, Lea Johnson and Babs Roggero enthusiastically returned to Shreveport to share with other women from their Church, their pastor, Dr. John Rogers, and Suzette Kincer-Haley, the Church’s Director of Christian education, their hopes of establishing such a program in Shreveport.
These forward-thinking individuals recognized the need to break this destructive cycle by assisting the Juvenile Court, through the use of volunteers, to divert first-time offenders. By providing these youths with an opportunity to develop a sense of responsibility for their actions and teaching new positive behaviors, they were given a chance to begin again. Their joint efforts became the catalyst that launched Volunteers for Youth Justice (VYJ), formerly known as the Shreveport Juvenile Justice Program.
VYJ has since built on the foundation of diversion programming to include advocacy, life-skill training and mentoring experiences for abused, neglected and at-risk children throughout Northwest Louisiana. Today, VYJ has three primary programs: CASA(Court Appointed Special Advocates), YOUTH PROGRAMS: GEMS & GENTS Mentoring, JUMPSTART, Teen Court and Conflict Resolution, COURT PROGRAMS: FINS (Families in Need of Services), Truancy FINS and TASC.
Volunteers for Youth Justice - CASA serve children in Bossier, Bienville, Caddo, Claiborne, Jackson, and Webster.
Learn more about our local programs here.