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Community Programs

Essex County CASA
is proud to announce a new initiative to provide mentoring to Essex County teens in foster care -- teens with little hope of ever finding safe, permanent homes. 

We need mentors.  And we need your help to get the word out.

We are hoping to reach as many people as possible through outstanding network of volunteers and friends.  If you know someone who might be interested in making a difference with teens at a critical time in their lives, please forward this email. 

Here is a snapshot of some of the children already receiving mentoring services:

"C", 17, in care for the past 18 months.  Is shy, loves reading, writing and music.  A straight-A student who is getting help finding financial and academic resources for college. "A", 16, in care for over 5 years.  Shy, lonely but a great mechanic. Loves video games and figuring out how things work.  Has a mentor who is helping him plan for his vocational and educational future. "C", 17, in care for almost 3 years after a failed adoption. Since receiving a mentor, has since brought all her grades up and is looking to go to college. Would like to be a veterinary technician.  "S", 17, in care since almost birth.  Frustrated, disillusioned and trying to stay on the right path without any real support. Living in a shelter and needs faith restored and someone to help point the way and help clear tough obstacles. Has a real desire to go to college. Just assigned a CASA mentor.

There are currently nearly 643 children between the ages of 15 and 22 in foster care in Essex County. Nearly 260 will "age out" before the end of 2009.  The prospects for these young adults are grim, as they leave "the system" without family support, financial support, basic life skills, or even a plan.  According to the Pew Charitable Trust, one in four adults who age out will be incarcerated within two years, and one in five will become homeless after turning 18.  Only 57% have a high school diploma at 19and fewer than 3% earn a college degree by 25.

We can change this, one child at a time.  CASA is ready to help.  The next training class for volunteers begins on September 26th. For more information, please go to and click “Teen Mentoring Program” or contact Catherine Wilson at (973) 648-3310.  

Thank you so much for your continued support for Essex County CASA.  You make a difference in a child's life every day.