Volunteer Spotlight: Clare & Steve

Meet Clare & Steve. For these two, CASA stays in the family! Learn about this father and daughter and why they are CASA volunteers.

Hi!  My name is Clare Cybak.  I have been a CASA volunteer for a year.  I am a 6th grade math teacher in Pearland ISD.  I love working with children and that is part of the reason I was drawn to CASA.  I had heard about it years ago and thought sometime in the future when I have more free time I will look into becoming a CASA.  My son and only child had been diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010, so in addition to normal mom duties I was his primary caregiver.  He passed away in 2016 and I was looking to figure out what my life’s purpose was because up to that point I had thought the main purpose was to be a mom.  I decided to live my life to honor my son’s memory, so I looked into being a CASA and helping other children.  It has been the most rewarding experience.  I feel that I am really making a difference in my children’s lives and helping them find a safe and permanent home.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift.  The purpose of life is to give it away.”  -Pablo Picasso

My name is Steve Blackwood and I’ve been a CASA since September 2018.  I was drawn to CASA when I attended my daughter Clare’s swearing in in August 2018.  I was impressed by her call to be there for children in the most difficult situation, separation from their home.

I never thought I could make it all right for the kids – but the chance to make it better was enough for me to get involved.  My favorite quote is from Edmund Burke “All that is necessary for the conquest of evil is for good men (& women) to do nothing.”  The most satisfying thing in life is to help others.  For anyone searching for an opportunity to help, it’s hard to beat CASA .

My wife and I retired 15 years ago and moved from the Northeast to the Houston area.  We live near our three children and all our grandchildren.  It has been a very active retirement with volunteering at grand kids school, at church and in the community.  I cherish the opportunity CASA has offered me to help a large family of wonderful children.  It has changed my life.