By: Jennifer Henderson, Follow South Jersey Contributing Writer
SOUTH JERSEY — Sworn in as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer in December 2022, Mark Phillips has not only proven to be a dedicated advocate but a true champion for the three children he serves. His unwavering commitment to their well-being and his selfless actions make him an exceptional superhero advocate.
At the core of Mark’s advocacy lies a genuine love for children. With a warm and friendly demeanor, he has a remarkable ability to connect with them in a way that fosters trust and understanding. His 34-year career in auditing equipped him with the skill of asking probing questions and seeking the truth, qualities that have become invaluable when navigating the complexities of the foster care system. Moreover, Mark’s talent for articulating problems and providing thoughtful recommendations is a testament to his dedication to making a positive impact.
Mark’s journey with CASA began during a pivotal moment in his life – retirement. As he sought volunteer opportunities, he stumbled upon an ad for CASA and instantly knew it was the right fit. Little did he know that this decision would lead him on a profound journey of advocacy, touching the lives of vulnerable children and forever altering their trajectories.
Since joining CASA, Mark has gained invaluable insights into the foster care system and the numerous individuals involved in a child’s life. Understanding the vast network of support has only strengthened his resolve to provide the best possible care for the children he serves. Through his experiences, he has learned that being a CASA advocate goes beyond just being a voice in court; it is about being a consistent pillar of support, love, and encouragement in a child’s life.
Mark shares that his motivation to continue as a CASA advocate is the knowledge that even the smallest actions can have a significant impact on a child’s life. Witnessing the positive outcomes of his efforts reaffirms his belief in the power of compassion and the importance of his role as a superhero advocate.
As a dedicated CASA volunteer, Mark couldn’t help but express his overwhelming satisfaction with his journey so far, stating, “My experience has been all positive. Starting with the excellent training, a great supervisor – Beatriz Rodriguez, and all CASA staff have made me feel part of a winning team.” Embracing the empowering atmosphere and support he received, Mark found himself flourishing as an advocate, confident that he was making a difference in the lives of the children he served.
Mark passionately urges others to join the cause. He shares, “There are so many children who are in the foster care system (many with heart wrenching stories) who could use a loving, caring, volunteer to give just a few hours of their time each month to ensure the childs’ lives are as good as possible.”
His commitment to being a true advocate was beautifully demonstrated when he attended his CASA child’s father’s funeral, unaware if the child would even be present. The warm embrace he received upon arrival speaks volumes about the profound impact he has had in that child’s life. Mark’s unwavering dedication and embodiment of compassion and support are truly awe-inspiring.
Mark is an exceptional superhero advocate who has selflessly dedicated his time and energy to make a difference in the lives of children in need. His love, kindness, and advocacy have forever changed the trajectory of the three children he serves. We extend our deepest appreciation and congratulate Mark on being our Advocate of the Month. Together, with advocates like him, we can create a brighter and more hopeful future for the most vulnerable among us.
- What’s Good In South Jersey? The Water – With Isaiah Showell
- Atlantic County To Offer Free Flu Vaccines In October
- What’s Good In South Jersey? Summer Youth Employment Celebration – With Isaiah Showell
Follow South Jersey provides local journalism which highlights our diverse communities; fosters transparency through robust, localized, and vital reporting that holds leaders and institutions accountable; addresses critical information needs; supports people in navigating civic life; and equips people with the information necessary to partake in effective community engagement. If there is a story or event you think we should cover, please send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org with “NEWS” in the subject line.