Brigit Kubiak: Hearts of Yolo

Wednesday, Feb 14, 2018

Brigit Kubiak is a retired school counselor. She lives in Davis with her husband. They have a daughter, a grandson, and a granddaughter. Brigit heard about Yolo County CASA from someone in a swim class she was taking. Given her background in education, she thought it sounded like something with which she could make an impact. “I really missed working with kids and helping them work through life’s challenges.”

Brigit has been a CASA volunteer for four years and has had four CASA cases. She has specific memories from each that all revolve around ways she was able to guide her CASA youth through challenges. “For example, one of my older CASA youths had beliefs that differed strongly from her foster family. However, she didn’t want to move families because she liked the town and school she was in. So in many of our meetings we talked about how she could live within the challenges of those differing belief systems but also stay true to herself.”

With her current CASA child, Brigit is helping her realize that she has the strength to make it through tough times. “She is really young and has been in four different placements in one year. It’s tough for her and tough for me to watch but I know she has the strength inside her to make it through and we talk about finding and using that strength.”

At 77 years old, Brigit sees herself as a grandmother figure. “I may not be able to do much of the physical stuff but I can sit and really talk with my CASA youths. I can help them through tough times with a good meal or snack and words of encouragement. More than anything I can be a consistent and supportive voice amidst a lot of moves and uncertainties. People outside the foster system would be amazed at how much these kids move homes in the dependency system. Sometimes the moves are hours away, too.”

Brigit smiles as she talks about some very rewarding moments of being a CASA volunteer. “One of the highlights was watching one of my CASA youths graduate from high school. As a foster youth, the odds are against graduating from high school at all. Not only did she graduate but she received pretty much every award imaginable. She told me that our chats played a big role. I was so grateful that I could be a consistent person for her during a time when her life was anything but consistent.”

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