CASA had been pulling at my heartstrings since I found out about it through a friend who became a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate over ten years ago. The opportunity to apply for the Board of Directors came up for me about six years ago, and I realized it was time to learn about and serve CASA. Two friends in my book club were associated with CASA, one as a Board member and the other as an Advocate—and their passion and encouragement were what made me finally act.
I am a first-generation American, born to Hungarian immigrant parents. I grew up in Los Angeles County and have lived in Billings for 17 years. I also spent five years of my life living in Germany, ten years in Cincinnati, Ohio, and five in Louisville, Kentucky. My ethnic roots run deep with connection to family not only in Hungary, but also around the world. I love all things outdoors, am a hobby beekeeper, foodie, and an avid reader.
CASA serves the absolute, most vulnerable, and innocent members of our society who are often hiding in plain sight. A community is only as strong as its weakest link—and CASA is without a doubt a strengthening force in the community. As a new Board member, I wanted to go through the Advocate training to see “what it’s all about.” After a few weeks of training, I decided I would like to volunteer as an Advocate and serve a child in foster care. While Board members are no longer able to be active Advocates at the same time, being an Advocate is one way I will continue to stay connected to CASA after my Board term ends in September of this year.
One of the most gratifying things about being part of CASA is feeling like I play a meaningful role in the life of my CASA kiddo. I have also been part of navigating the organization through a lot of growth and evolution during trying times.
When you have a heart for CASA’s mission and the time, dedication, and talents to be a part of its leadership you are leaving a legacy and making a difference! Engage, learn, grow, and don’t be afraid to put your whole heart into it!
Andrea Horrell serves on the Board of Directors at CASA of Yellowstone County.