How Sabrina Amezcua-Fumagalli changes lives, one child at a time
Service to others runs deep in Sabrina Amezcua-Fumagalli’s family.
This heart for service is seen in Sabrina, her husband, and their four children – a developer of renewable energy in Houston, a fighter pilot in the Euro-NATO program, a member of US Space Force, and a spouse to a U.S. Marine.
Sabrina grew up in an affluent home on a golf course in Mexico City as the daughter of a Mexican father and an American mother.
“My mom always volunteered to help the poor. I guess I got it from her,” she said about her calling to serve.
Although she was among Mexico City’s upper class, she has vivid memories of children and mothers begging on the streets.
“I was 22 when I came to this country and realized that even though I was raised in a nation where we ignore it, we also ignore it here,” she said. “How can there be hungry children and abused children in a first world nation? Every child should have the same opportunity and it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re first world – there are still inequities, and the children are the consequences.”
This realization would eventually lead Sabrina to advocate for children as a CASA volunteer – first in Texas, and now in Colorado Springs.
With dual citizenship and a degree in biochemical engineering, Sabrina left Mexico for California where she met her husband, John. She eventually left her career in R&D to work in the health and fitness industry while the couple raised their children in the Salinas Valley, and later in New Braunfels, Texas where she discovered CASA.
“I loved being able to be put on a case where I could use my language, but also my culture. Having this culture helps me to understand the person more,” she said.
The benefits are great when CASA can pair a child with an advocate who understands and appreciates the child’s culture. For this reason, Sabrina is an invaluable member of a team here in Colorado’s Fourth Judicial District currently working the case of an unaccompanied refugee minor.
Sabrina is advocating for this child whose story began in 2015 when, as a ten-year-old boy, he left his Central American home alone and on foot for the United States.
“He wants to be able to help his mom financially. I think it’s what gives him strength,” Sabrina said.
Fast forward to today and this boy is living in a foster home in Colorado Springs where Sabrina says despite his small stature due to malnourishment, he is like any ordinary teenager.
“There is an emotional tie back home but at the same time he knows he can’t go back. He has dreams. His dreams are to finish his education, be a pilot, and help his mother.”
Part of Sabrina’s role as this child’s CASA volunteer is to advocate for him to continue receiving services after he turns 18, and to ensure access to ESL classes so the boy can develop the communication and language skills needed to succeed after high school.
“He doesn’t want to end up in poverty like his mother. He understands what he can have and what he can’t have if he blows it,” she said. “He knows he can change the history of his family, help his siblings, and help his mother. That’s big. One child at a time is the only way you can do it. You can make a difference one child at a time.”
YOU also can make a difference, one child at a time. Each volunteer brings unique life experiences and skillsets to the children they serve – whether it’s bilingual abilities, cultural understanding, or something entirely different. What would YOU bring? Read more about how to get involved as a volunteer in CASA’s Dependency & Neglect Program.