Advocate Spotlight: Joe Boyle

Joe Boyle

Joe Boyle

Meet Joe Boyle. A Wilkes-Barre native with a true passion for helping others. Joe's dedication to that passion began out of High School when he decided to continue his education at Penn State, earning his Undergraduate Degree in Social Work. He then went on to broaden his knowledge base by completing his Masters in Information Systems at Marywood University. In support of his innate desire to be a supportive and caring member of society, Joe and his late wife adopted two children: his son, now 35 was adopted at the age of 5 and his daughter, now 31 was adopted at the age of 18 months. They later welcomed two biological children into the world who are now 29 and 22 years old. In 1998 Joe's wife lost her battle with cancer and he was a single dad to his 4 children until he remarried in 2004. At that time, the younger of the 4 children were still under 18 years of age and so his current wife went through the process of adopting them as her own. Joe also has 2 grandchildren: his youngest grandson, 7 months old and his oldest  grandson, adopted by Joe's biological son, is 6 years old. This family is a model of the saying, " family is not defined by genes, it is built and maintained through love."

When asked what inspired him to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), Joe replied by expressing how his two adopted children gave him the foundation and reassurance that he truly has the power to make a difference in other's lives. After doing some social work for EIHAB Human Services, Joe continued to feel the calling for his care and support of others. Retiring early, time became something that he has much more of and after seeing an article about CASA of Luzerne County, Joe applied to become a Volunteer Advocate and was sworn-in during the month of March 2014.

Since becoming an Advocate, Joe's perspective on life has been enhanced by his experiences. The Child he began Advocating for just a few years ago is now a young man; a young man whose life has taken a turn for the better. After experiencing a domestic trauma, the child was placed into foster care and spent some significant time in the Courthouse, having to attend many hearings regarding his placement and safety. The relationship between Joe and the Child became a bond during those long hours in the Courthouse. Through being a consistent presence of support and care for the Child, Joe was able to express the importance of education and self-care. When the Child had been placed at a resident treatment facility 20 miles from the Ohio border, Joe faithfully visited the Child once a month for 9 months! Today, the young man has completed high school, even earning 6 College Credits and has been reunited with his mother.  Joe's commitment truly made a difference in that teenager's life.

At the close of our interview, looking back on his 3 years of Advocacy, Joe offered some advice: "Advocate in a gentle but persistent way by working with the system, not through it."  Joe modeled this idea of working in partnership with CYS, and many within the Adolescent Unit know him as someone they can count on to always be there for the Child. The future is now in the hands of the Child who now has the tools and resources to become a healthy and productive adult.

Do you feel inspired to help a Child in the way that Joe has? More than 400 children are currently in the Luzerne County Foster Care System and many could use an Advocate like you.