The success of CASA’s programs relies on a strong network of caring community members to support our mission in a variety of ways. We’re thrilled to announce a new team member dedicated to helping us build this network within Douglas County — Community Engagement Coordinator, Brooksie McCarty!
This staff position will play an instrumental part in CASA’s volunteer recruitment and partner outreach. The Community Engagement Coordinator will spearhead efforts to increase awareness of child welfare issues and communicate CASA’s critical role in protecting and advocating for local children in need.
In this interview, Brooksie shares her background, what inspired her to join us in this work, and what she hopes to accomplish.
Welcome, Brooksie! What was your path to becoming Douglas County CASA's first Community Engagement Coordinator?
I first became connected to Douglas County CASA’s mission while working for the organization as an Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Supervisor from 2011 to 2016. I then left CASA and Lawrence when my husband took a job at his alma mater. During that time, I worked for a downtown association, which grew my love of community-building and supporting everything local. I also worked at a public library, which reintroduced me to the fulfilling experience of working with volunteers.
I was thrilled when the Community Engagement Coordinator position became available soon after we had moved back to Lawrence to be closer to family. Given my history with CASA, this presented a terrific way to get plugged back into the community while expanding CASA’s outreach.
What inspires you about this kind of work?
CASA’s mission appeals to me in many ways, but it’s the people I find most inspiring — from the vulnerable yet resilient youth we serve to our dedicated and generous volunteers and donors. I also get to be part of an experienced and delightful team of colleagues, which makes the challenge of this work worthwhile.
What are your responsibilities in this role?
As the Community Engagement Coordinator, my role is to increase the community’s awareness of CASA and manage our social media and web communications. I also assist with recruitment, support non-advocate volunteers, and focus on volunteer appreciation and continuing education.
What are your hopes for how the community will engage with CASA in the coming year?
I jumped at the chance to work for Douglas County CASA again because I believe they set a high standard for advocacy and nonprofit leadership. I would love to see the community carry that banner as well. Those who know about CASA recognize the significance of the work our volunteers do, so I hope to increase opportunities for our community to learn who we are and what we do.
What is something you would like others to know about CASA?
CASA volunteers are spectacular—but not superhuman! The children we serve do not need another social worker or lawyer in their life, but they do need an adult who can be giving of their time. Our volunteers are trained and supported throughout a child’s entire case, so you just need to be willing to learn how to make a difference.