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Published: Sunday, 4/28/2013

Olympian a CASA volunteer

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Your April 21 article “Youth program still packs positive punch” highlighted the contributions of several Toledoans, including ex-Olympic boxer Louis Self. The article described Mr. Self as “an advocate for wayward youth in the juvenile court system.” Mr. Self is an advocate, but, in this case, not for wayward youth.

Mr. Self is a member of the Court Appointed Special Advocate program (CASA). He advocates for our community’s most vulnerable citizens — abused and neglected children who have been removed from their homes for safekeeping.

In 2009, Mr. Self stepped forward at the suggestion of fellow pastor William Lucas to speak up for abused children caught, through no fault of their own, in the overwhelming child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Since that time, he has taken four cases and advocated for nine of our community’s child victims.

Last year, 200 active CASA volunteers donated almost 13,000 hours to Lucas County in their service to nearly 700 children placed in foster or relative care. CASA volunteers independently investigate the circumstances of each case and make recommendations to the court. Each case can last up to two years; the CASA volunteer stays with the child every step of the way.

Mr. Self is one of only nine African-American men serving in CASA. Mr. Self is still a champion and CASA is proud to call him one of its own.

CAROL MARTIN

Director Court Appointed Special Advocate program

Spielbusch Avenue



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