Story provided by CASA for Kids Serving Payne and Logan Counties
Karen Straude is CASA’s May Volunteer of the Month. Karen was born in Oklahoma. She moved around in her teenage and early adulthood years but returned to Stillwater in 1989 to teach. She taught geometry and algebra at Stillwater High School until she retired in 2013. Karen still teaches as an adjunct professor in mathematics at Oklahoma State University; she has been in this position since 2008. She is married and a mother to three now grown children and grandmother to four grandchildren. Karen has been a CASA volunteer since June of 2018 and has served on the same case throughout her service.
“During the two years on this case, I have been the one person who has been a constant for the children,” she says. How much the kids have grown, improved, and succeeded has been fulfilling to watch as their advocate. She describes her motivation to advocate for children in this role as a direct result of her faith and wishing to serve God in a way that suits her skills and experiences with children in education.
Karen had always admired what CASA volunteers do and knew once she retired from being a high school teacher that she wanted to become a volunteer. Karen believes that her time as a teacher prepared her to become a CASA volunteer. “All of you retired school teachers who need something to do— CASA would be a perfect place for you!” she said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the past few weeks have presented Karen with new challenges as an advocate related to keeping in contact with kids. Despite this, she says that the children are excited to see her via Zoom during this time of social distancing. CASAs are continuing to stay in contact with the children they serve using phone, text, email, and teleconferencing. To learn more about CASA and how you can make a difference in a child’s life, visit casaforkids.com or call 405-624-2242.