Returning the love

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As a 10-year-old, Lauren Mueller ’13 found herself in a situation no child can imagine. Living in Colorado and caught in an abusive relationship with her mother, Lauren was placed in foster care. What she didn’t know was that she was about to meet someone who would shape her life for years to come.

Immediately after being placed in care, Lauren was assigned a CASA, or court appointed special advocate. A CASA volunteer is appointed by a judge “to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, and to make sure they don’t get lost in overburdened legal and social service systems.”

After a short adjustment period, Lauren discovered that her CASA was someone she could trust—a quality that was hard to come by at that time in her life. They spent the next year and a half developing a relationship that remains strong to this day, and Lauren often cites their connection as the reason for her current stability and success.

A communication major from Westerville, Ohio, Lauren has now reconnected with the CASA organization, and she’s giving back. She and her volunteer from years ago, Stephanie Eichenauer, speak together at CASA events across the country, raising awareness and funding. This spring, they gave the closing address at CASA’s national conference in Chicago, and next year, Lauren will go to Washington, D.C., to address federal lawmakers during an event called “CASA Meets Congress.”

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