Friday, Jul 6, 2018
May Advocate of the Month
The CASA organization has chosen Nate Leaf as May Advocate of the Month. He has been an advocate with CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties for the past nine months. Ever since then, he’s been working with an abandoned teenager. As a retired teacher for Adams 12 School District and prior to that, having served in the Denver State Department visiting school districts to ensure compliancy according to federal mandate, he’s well aware of what goes on with youth in need.
Nate has also coached soccer and has been to plenty of high school graduations. He said that his teenager graduated and gave a speech, which was one of the most moving moments he’s seen over the years.
“When I was teaching, words without relationships equaled chaos, and that’s still the case today,” said Nate. “Kids see through everything so it’s crucial to develop a strong relationship and become a part of their support system.”
Nate also believes that when kids have goals, they tend to follow through. The challenge is the social piece of the equation, helping kids meet people their own age after they’ve been moved around the system so much.
“I’m the cheerleader and the coach at the same time,” added Nate. “That’s what CASA volunteers do. They are there for the kids. They work with a team of Guardian ad Litems and social workers for the benefit of the child.”
One of Nate’s biggest successes has been to keep his teen in the same school, no matter how unstable the rest of his life is. He believes this helps them stick with their goals.
“I listen first,” added Nate. “Then I do what I need to do to provide the right support. No matter what, I’m there for him, not to judge, but to let him know I’m looking after his best interests. When the child understands this, that’s when you know that what we’re doing is working.”
Nate is impressed by the training and support CASA provides its advocates and he encourages others to volunteer as it’s a great way of giving back to the community.
The support that Nate has given to his teen throughout a terribly challenging time in his life demonstrates how much good a CASA can do. We thank Nate for his continued commitment to making a difference in the lives of youth in need.