Staff Spotlight: Meet Kay
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Yoga Instructor, Cooking Enthusiast, and CASA Volunteer Advocate
A dedicated CASA Volunteer Advocate and former school psychologist, Kay spent her formative years growing up alongside foster children. While not technically in the foster care system, Kay’s foster siblings were welcomed under her roof by her benevolent mother, who was constantly taking children in who needed some help, support, and love.
Growing up beside them, Kay could see some of their pain, agony, and confusion, and she felt for that. It was this monumental experience as a child that fueled her desire to help and advocate for children, driving her to become a school psychologist; and, later, leading her to CASA of Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties (CGS), a nonprofit that trains teams of volunteer advocates that support and speak up for abused and neglected children in court.
After a fulfilling career as a school psychologist, Kay joined the CASA of CGS team in 2013. Though the organization, Kay was trained as a Volunteer CASA Advocate and learned how to become a child’s voice in court. Since then, she has worked on two cases, each lasting several years long, and each life changing for both the children served and Kay herself.
“The first child I served was very jaded, but by the time she was aging out, she said she wanted to be a school psychologist like me. I felt like I gave her something she didn’t have before in terms of stability, resources, and counseling,” says Kay. “The second child I served got reunited with her mother. She is doing well in school and was so glad to finally be back with her mother and they have a very loving relationship now. That was very rewarding. If it wasn’t for CASA there was no way she would have ever gotten back with her.”
CASA Advocates search for solutions that are in the best interests of the child, and provide abused and neglected children with support, advocacy, and resources to help them succeed. Both in her cases and in the organization as a whole, the personal and professional experience Kay has lent to CASA is invaluable—and that’s not all she brings to our network.
For over 20 years, Kay has been personally practicing yoga, and in 2019 she brought her years of expertise to Hopeloft. The second floor of our building at Hopeloft, dedicated to self-care, houses Kay’s Eastern Sky Co-op, a non-profit yoga studio whose instructors are dedicated to sharing their practice while supporting the community.
Eastern Sky Co-op offers workshops, weekly classes, and provides support for community events, all while benefiting their proceeds to the local community (although, due to COVID-19, their classes and events have been paused to ensure the health and safety of the community). Kay, her studio, her team, and her message add immense value to our community impact at Hopeloft, and her love and commitment to our mission and our team is undeniable.
“What I love about Hopeloft is the people,” Kay says. “They are warm, giving, compassionate people. You know the people working here are not working because of the money. Most people have a personal agenda, but the people here want to help others and do good for people, and I can identify with those motivations. I appreciate people who are giving and giving in everything they do. You can just feel the love that they have for you and for everyone.”
Kay’s dedication to promoting self-care and serving the community are just a few of the reasons why she is an indispensable link in our Hopeloft network. Her aura radiates positivity, and we are so grateful to have her on our team—and we can’t wait to start taking her classes again!
When she is not helping the children of our community or teaching yoga, you can find Kay experimenting with creative new recipes, bicycling on a 20-mile trek, or playing with her adorable rescue kittens!