Minta Rodd: Helping kids get on the right path

When Minta Rodd retired after three decades as an elementary teacher, she knew that volunteering with children would be her activity of choice.  A little online investigation and some encouragement from friend Jane Hegstrom led Minta to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate.

Her favorite part of the job she says is the interaction with kids.

“That’s always been a very important part of my life and it’s how I live. I grew up in a family that was very conscious of social justice and taking care of one another, and that has always stayed with me.”

By advocating in the court system for children who are removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or domestic violence, Minta carries on her family’s legacy of caring for others.

Eleven years ago, she was assigned her first case. She spoke up for four siblings and worked tirelessly to make sure each of them was placed in the best possible environment.  She stayed committed to the group for four years, often taking time to mentor the oldest who had a child of her own.

“She managed to hang in there with school. We had a lot of talks about addiction and how it can have a hereditary component. I would ask if that’s how she wanted to live her life and I think eventually she listened to me.”

This girl that Minta mentored so many years ago now has a family of her own and a career in healthcare.

Having a constant and positive adult presence in their lives can make all the difference for foster children. Minta knows her work as a CASA has helped children get on the right path to bright futures, even when they weren’t dealt the best hands in life.

She’s been doing this important work for eleven years, and she also volunteers with CASA’s Supervised Exchange & Parenting Time (SEPT) Program, and as an academic tutor in The Hanger.

“The tutoring, I enjoy because I’m a huge advocate for public education. I believe it’s the foundation of our democracy and we need well-informed citizens,” she said. “Right now I’m working with a teen who was out of school for several years and knows he has catching up to do, but he is highly motivated.”

Talk about a meaningful way for a retired teacher to give back.

In addition to all that Minta does for the Pikes Peak Region’s children, she also enjoys reading and spending time with her two daughters and two grandchildren. And when she’s ready to do something just for herself, travel with retired teacher friends is definitely the activity of choice. So far she’s been to Mexico, Italy, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Russia.

What would she tell a teacher friend that was considering becoming a CASA?

“The training I had was excellent. It really prepared me very well to be a CASA… One of the reasons I have stayed with CASA and want to continue volunteering is because it’s such a wonderful organization. When I’ve felt down or discouraged, a supervisor or someone has always been there to answer questions and remind me of where I need to be headed.”

Want to advocate for kids like Minta? No special background required. Click here to find out how you can train to become a volunteer advocate.

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