March 2017 Advocate Spotlight:
Interviewed by: Stefanie Crothers/Office Manager
Meet Bill Pollard. Both authentic and welcoming in spirit, it does not take long to understand why Bill became a CASA. Having two girls of his own, one in chiropractic school and another who is a freshman in high school, Pollard is certainly versed in understanding the needs of children. After graduating college with an Associates Degree in Electrical Management and another in Electrical Engineering, Pollard was quickly drafted by PPL Utilities.
Watching his daughters become young adults, Bill began to focus on a passion that he carried with him since he was a young boy. That strong feeling was the desire to be a supportive role model for children in need. In 2015, as fate would have it, while watching TV one night, Pollard saw a public service announcement for CASA of Luzerne County. Within no time he applied, passed the interview process, completed the mandatory 30-hour training, and was proudly sworn-in. To date, Pollard has advocated for 2 children.
When asked if any of his experiences as a CASA have been life altering, Bill provided very optimistic insight. He explained that, "It's truly inspiring how many people out there are willing to help kids. I've seen a single dad foster multiple children and not just provide a home for them but provide building blocks for a better future. I've felt the warm inviting feeling of foster homes and witnessed adults working hard to provide for these children in ways they've never experienced before."
When discussing advice for future advocates, Pollard reminisced on how he may have approached his past cases a little differently now that he has experience. He suggested that advocates be approachable, open, and friendly. Be sure to get to know the caseworker by establishing rapport and becoming a resource for them. At times, this field of volunteerism can take a toll emotionally, but the positive outcomes and inspiring progresses along the way make it worth every minute of it.
At the conclusion of our interview, Bill and I spoke in depth regarding his most recent case. The child's mother was incarcerated for the abuse that she inflicted on her newborn son. Not only did Bill fulfill his duties as a CASA but he personally went over and above to fulfill the mission of making the child's voice heard, since the child was in a vegetative state and could not speak. Pollard attended the mother's parole hearings. When given the chance to speak on the child's behalf, Pollard would explain the difficulties that the child would experience every single day because of her abuse. Both times, she was denied parole: an unfortunate situation but a significant impact.
We are grateful and extremely proud to have Bill Pollard as a CASA. Both his motivation and dedication are inspiring and are what makes this program vital to our community. Stay tuned for next month's Advocate Spotlight and read on to view upcoming events and training opportunities!