2015 CASA Volunteer of the Year Selected

The TBA YLD has selected Jane Hickman of Greenbrier as the 2015 CASA Volunteer of the Year. At its winter meeting in January, the YLD Board will present the award to Hickman and Kathy Williams, executive director of CASA of Robertson County.

Hickman was selected for her long service to CASA – volunteering for eight years, during which time she reunited 18 families and found safe permanent homes for 31 other children – and her fierce advocacy on behalf of her clients. At one point, Williams writes in her nomination form, Hickman was handling seven cases at one time. While the agency rarely gives a volunteer that many cases, Williams said they were confident that Hickman could carry the caseload without sacrificing the quality of representation.

Given her significant experience, Hickman now mentors new volunteers and represents the agency during the “CASA on the Hill” legislative lobbying day. Williams also made a point to emphasize that Hickman has a special place in her heart for teens and those who are about to “age out” of the foster care system, and often advocates for alternative education options for this demographic so they have a chance at a successful and productive life.

Hickman also has become known as the “CASA Chef” – regularly catering meals for volunteers, community meetings and the agency’s annual appreciation dinner for its partner organizations. This year, she also took up the challenge of hosting a CASA table at a local community chili cook-off. She designed, sourced and decorated the table and made all of the chili. Thanks to her efforts, the agency won second place in the contest and had a great opportunity to publicize its work. At the heart of Hickman’s service, however, is an unwavering commitment to kids. “She just does not give up on kids, no matter what,” Williams says. And for that, the YLD is honored to present her with the 2015 CASA Volunteer of the Year Award.

Special thanks goes to all those who serve and those who nominated outstanding volunteers. Appreciation also goes to Knoxville lawyer Katrina Atchley Arbogast who chairs the YLD’s Children’s Issues Committee and the members of the award committee who reviewed all of the applications. Watch for photos of the award ceremony in the January issue of E-DICT.

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