Connie came to CASA of Galveston County in October 2015 after serving as Program Director for Essex County CASA of Massachusetts for the last 7.5 years. Connie has been married for more than 37 years to her husband Dennis. Connie and Dennis served as foster parents for more than 10 years here in Texas beginning in 1992 and adopted 3 children now all young adults Erin (29), Jason (28) and Hannah (25) through Child Protective Services of Grayson County, Texas. Connie became involved with CASA after witnessing firsthand the impact that a CASA volunteer had on the life and outcome of her youngest daughter’s CPS case. After closing their home to foster children Connie became a CASA Volunteer for Collin County CASA knowing that she would provide a “voice” for the children she would serve. Connie went on to serve as a Board Member for Collin County CASA and as staff.
Connie’s passion for the prevention and awareness of abused and neglected children was recognized in April 2015 when she was named the Children’s Champion of the Merrimack Valley by the regional Exchange Club and YWCA. This honor recognized her commitment to these vulnerable children both personally and professionally. Connie has served her Texas CASA region as the Regional Representative to the Texas CASA Board (2019 – 2022). She served on the Children’s Justice Task Force in Texas from 2018 – 2021. In 2020, Connie received the Liberty Bell award from the Galveston Bar Association for her commitment to see that justice is served in her community. Connie was nominated for The Galveston Daily News Citizen of the Year in 2020.
Connie is a Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner (TBRI) having been certified in August 2021. Connie received her Non-Profit Leadership Certification from Texas A&M University Center for Philanthropic Leadership Institute in December 2021.
Connie believes that CASA volunteers are extraordinary in their service to children who have experienced abuse and neglect and is committed to seeing that all the children in Galveston County that need a CASA will have one appointed.
Recruitment and Training Coordinator
Kasey was born in Nacogdoches, Texas and moved to the Galveston area as soon as she could. Coming from a family that fostered and adopted kids when she was growing up, Kasey has a heart for those in the foster care system. This led to her graduating from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Science in Victim Studies and minor in Human Services. Kasey has always had a passion for helping others, whether it be through mission trips or volunteering for organizations within her community. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, playing with her cat Ziva, and weightlifting at the gym!
Marketing and Development Director
A native of Florida and a proud graduate of Florida State University, Ratha excels in project management and strategic thinking. Often described as enthusiastic and driven, Ratha brings 20 years of private and non-profit experience to the CASA team. She is dedicated to supporting the organization’s marketing and development efforts and ensuring that every child’s voice is heard. Away from the office, Ratha enjoys traveling with her favorite adventure partners; her husband, Devon, and kids, Kai and Ayden.
Heidi was born in a small town in Ohio. Bothered by the inequal treatment and discrimination that surrounded her, and wanting to better understand this confusing world, she eventually directed her studies toward History. Heidi received her MA in History and has since worked in the non-profit and corporate sectors in a variety of roles. She was immediately drawn to the CASA organization, recognizing that she and her little brother would have avoided a lot of traumas and misjustice if a CASA had been involved.
Outside of CASA, Heidi is dedicated to helping women find their inner-goddess at her studio, where she teaches various yoga styles and dance. Her husband, Josh, is in the Coast Guard. Toby, her canine bestie, is never far away. Heidi also has two cats – Kitten and Little One – who love her almost as much as food.
Heidi believes everyone is still the same lovable child they were born as, but that we become hidden underneath countless adult layers we think we need. Her favorite quote reminds her to shed those layers and encourage others to do the same:
I tried to be grown up, but I have no interest in abiding by the adult rulebook. I want to do fun things that make me happy. If adults had even the slightest in-the-moment joy of a child, then frankly the world would be a better place. – Miranda Hart
Program Manager (Special Programs)
Alaine was born and raised in Texas. She is the first female in her family to join the Army as a Military Police Officer. After her time in the military, she pursued an Associate of Science in Child Development while she worked in different child settings. Soon after finishing her Associate degree, Alaine graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Science and Family Development. Alaine has experience with children ages birth through seventeen due to being in daycares, intermediate schools, juvenile centers, and non-profit settings. Alaine is currently working on her Master of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences at Stephen F. Austin State University (tentative graduation in Spring of 2023).
Alaine has always had a passion for helping children and their families. She is excited to be part of the CASA of Galveston County team and put her knowledge and experience to use by helping advocate for children and their families. Alaine hopes to make a difference in educational advocacy and use her passion for helping others to make a positive impact in her community.
In her free time, Alaine enjoys spending time with her daughter and spoiling her rescue dogs and cat – Marshal, Oreo, and Marshmallow, drinking coffee with a good book in hand, and occasionally restoring antique furniture.
Collaborative Family Engagement Coordinator
Born in Fort Worth, Texas Kristin later moved to League City where she graduated as a first-generation college graduate from the University of Houston Clear Lake with a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Occupational Therapy. For the last 14 years her focus has centered around children within our schools and practicing behavior therapy. She is excited about extending her commitment to helping children and their families and is blessed to be a part of an organization that understands the importance of positive lifelong connections.
Kristin’s passion for wanting to help children locate their families stems from her mother and paternal great-grandmother being adopted as infants, and paternal grandmother being raised by fictive kin when her own mother passed away. Her hobbies include but are not limited to, all things Texan from its native history and crawfish boils to the many different types of topography to set up primitive camp. Those important to her are her faith, family, and being able to recharge outdoors.
Devin grew up overseas due to her father being in the military, but Texas has always been her home. Devin graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor’s of Science in Community Health. She worked for Seton Home, a shelter for teen mothers and their children who were in the foster care. After hearing the numerous stories of the children in care, she then knew she wanted to do more to help. Devin worked for Child Protective Services as a Family Based Services Specialist in both Bexar County and Harris County. Devin enjoys spending quality time with her three children. Devin enjoys crafting and her faith is very important to her. Devin hopes to make a difference in the lives of the children and their families. Devin will do her best to use her knowledge and skills to lead the advocates in their journeys with CASA.
Joanna first joined CASA as a Volunteer Advocate and quickly learned that she could put both her empathic nature and passion for advocacy to good use as an Advocate Supervisor. Her core values are Compassion, Courage, and Hope.
When not working at CASA, Joanna enjoys cooking and spending her free time in nature. You can find her on a hiking trail or visiting a State Park. She also has an expansive rock and mineral collection she is proud of (and that is still growing!)
Yvonne was born and raised in Texas, she is married to Patrick and has two daughters, Elizabeth and Sarah. She studied Behavioral Science at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, church, and yard work.
Her journey led her to CASA after working with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in the Children’s Crisis Care Center for 15 years. She worked in various counties and witnessed firsthand the effect Court Appointed Advocates had in the lives of abused and neglected children. Her passion in wanting to serve her community by being a voice for the voiceless and admiring the work CASA brought to the table is what lead her to become a CASA Advocate. After only two months as a volunteer she decided this is where her heart belonged and decided to come on board full time as a Supervisor. She believes that if you can touch the life of one child you can help change the course of a whole generation. She feels very blessed to be a part of the CASA organization.
My name is Amelia Smith, I have been married to my husband, Brent, for 12 years, and we have six children and five beautiful grandchildren. My grands are the light of my life. In addition, we have three dogs, a cat, and three chickens. Originally from Alabama, we moved to Texas from the Alabama, Florida, and Georgia line in 2012. My lifelong desire to work with children in the foster system came from being a foster child myself. Seeing the ups and downs of being a foster child gave me the desire to do something to make a positive change in as many lives of the children and their families as possible. My goal is to help the children and families not become a statistic placed on foster children and break the cycle.
Before moving to Texas, I volunteered for the Jackson County, Florida, GAL for six years. I loved advocating for the children I served; I was their voice. When I moved to Texas, I wanted to continue to help children in the foster care system. I am excited to be a part of CASA, where I can continue to advocate and bring a positive change in the lives of those I serve.
Diana Smith comes to CASA with a heart for kids in the foster care system. As the grandmother of 3 adopted foster kids, she has a unique insight and perspective that drives her passion for ensuring every child has a chance to succeed and reach their full potential. Diana has spent the past 25 years in the education field, helping students with their academic coursework and guiding them through the college selection process. Diana has been advocating for children and their rights for the last seven years in various states and is looking forward to joining the phenomenal team at CASA. She has been married for 30 years to her husband, who has served in the educational field for 25+ years. She has three adult children and four grandchildren. Diana is looking forward to continuing the work at CASA and helping impact children’s future in the foster care system.
Kate was born in and spent most of her life growing up in Santa Fe, Texas. Kate’s passion for kids in need started in the 6th grade when she received a PAL. Her PAL was a mentor, someone that truly cared and was a consistent person in her life. Along with her PAL, she also had a guardian with a big heart! These great role models in her life shaped her to be the kind of person who wanted to do the same for others. Kate started off as a CASA advocate and quickly knew this was where she was meant to be. Helping kids realize they can grow up and be whoever they wanted in life, and still have faith in their self no matter their up bringing. She believes every child deserves someone who can help make sure their voice is heard.
When she has free time, Kate enjoys taking her 2 dogs, Archie and Draco, places and spoiling them like crazy. Kate considers her friends to be family, and they are a huge part of her life! She also enjoys reading and traveling whenever she can!