On November 18th, Paulina Anderson - Dinitz will be honored as the 2022 Advocate of the Year for her work changing the lives of neglected and abused youth in Delaware and Chester counties, during CASA Youth Advocates’ 30th Anniversary Celebration.
As an advocate, Paulina embodies all the best CASA has to offer. Her commitment, consistency, and dedication are outstanding.
“From encouraging kids to fulfill their dreams, touring college campuses and filling out applications to attending baseball games, graduations and speaking up at IEP meetings when a child needs additional services, Paulina does it all,” explained Delaware County CASA Program Manager, Susanne Whiting. “She is a tireless advocate for her CASA youth and a tremendous resource to the team of professionals.”
Being a mother of two, Paulina always knew how important it is for children, especially those in the child welfare system, to have a caring and consistent adult in their corner. In 2020, at the height of the COVID – 19 pandemic, she decided to become a CASA advocate, a role that would allow her to be a voice for abused and neglected children in Delaware and Chester counties.
Paulina’s first case as a CASA involved a youth named Saphir.
“Saphir is an exceptional human being,” said Paulina. “When we (CASA) first became involved with his case, he was living in a foster home. I kept showing up and he was willing to talk.”
Over the last two years, Paulina and Saphir have built a strong bond. Paulina was by Saphir’s side when he moved into a new living facility, graduated high school, and moved into his first college dorm.
“I helped him move. I visited him more than just once a month. I spent time with him in court,” Paulina explained. “Over time he learned to rely on me.”
According to Saphir, building trust with Paulina was easy because she was always welcoming and was not intimidating.
“Ms. Paulina was very nice,” said Saphir. “She made me want to open up and talk to her, because she was interested in what I had to say. She wanted to know what was happening in my life. It felt good knowing someone was always there to support me.”
Paulina’s diligence and the impact she had on Saphir’s success does not go unnoticed.
“Paulina's positive energy, and persistence created a path for Saphir to thrive in his own way,” said CASA Case Supervisor, Shari Jones. “Paulina took the time to know Saphir so she that she could provide the support and resources he needed to excel.”
Want to hear more about Paulina and Saphir’s story? Join us at our 30th Anniversary Celebration. To purchase tickets, visit https://e.givesmart.com/events/mSL/.