When Ann Chellman’s Metro State law professor told his students to choose a code in Colorado that they were passionate about, Ann chose the Colorado Children’s Code. It was then, in the early 2000’s that she became familiar with CASA.
Originally sworn in as an advocate in her home state of Illinois, her work had such an impact on her that when she moved back to Colorado in 2016, becoming a CASA was one of the first things she did.
She says it’s rewarding when her work helps families get the resources they need in order to thrive.
When three girls here in Southern Colorado were removed from their mother due to her boyfriend’s abusive behavior, Ann helped the mom find resources like child care assistance, and advocated for financial assistance to the kinship caregiver. In this case, Ann knew that with some help and support the mom could provide a safe and loving home for her girls.
“The mom turned her life around,” Ann said. “…I told her you should be very proud of yourself.”
“These kids have done absolutely nothing wrong and there’s no one there to advocate for them,” Ann explains about why her work as an advocate is so important. “…When the families are reunited, it’s really rewarding to see the kids placed where they’re happiest and healthiest.”
Ann is on her third case here in Colorado and is currently helping a family navigate two separate foster placements.
The Chicago native has been so inspired by her work with CASA, that after a long career in communications she wants to work toward a mission that her heart is behind. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration from UCCS and intends to seek out cause-related opportunities.
When she’s not helping families rebuild their lives or attending classes at UCCS, Ann is plenty busy volunteering for the Hanger and spending time with family members including a grandson, son, and daughter-in-law in Manitou Springs.
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