The Yellowstone Court Appointed Special Advocates program, an organization dedicated to helping abused children, added nine more volunteers to its roster Tuesday.
Taking the oath before Judge Michael Moses, seven women and two men were sworn in during their CASA graduation to represent the interests of children in Yellowstone County who have been neglected and abused.
Among the nine graduates stood newlyweds Holly and Ryan Cremer, 27 and 28. After the ceremony, the couple said they were excited for the opportunity to make a difference.
Ryan, whose mother is also an advocate, enrolled in training after previously working as a coordinator for Yellowstone CASA.
Now working at the Yellowstone Art Museum, Ryan said he’s excited to be an advocate as it will allow him the opportunity to put to practice all the things he recommended as a coordinator.
Holly said she was adopted into a loving home when she was 3 months old. She said she has always wanted to give back, and now she can.
Holly and Ryan hope to get their first case before Christmas, which they hope to take on as a couple. By working together, they said they hope to take on a case that might be too taxing for a single person.
Tuesday’s graduates completed a 30-hour class through CASA that cost $10,000 and was funded by PPL Montana.
Program coordinator Maggie Brusven said the graduates would be able to help more than 20 children.
“That’s exciting,” she said.
But Brusven said they are always looking for more volunteers.
Speaking to the graduates during the ceremony Tuesday, she said that last June, 371 children in Yellowstone County were in foster care. She said that only 199 of those kids had advocates.
Brusven said anyone interested in getting involved can find out more during a 5:30 p.m. information session Thursday at their office, which is located at 1201 Grand Ave.
More information about Yellowstone CASA can be found at its website, www.yellowstonecasa.org.
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