Hearts of Yolo: Michelle Millet

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Michelle Millet is no stranger to volunteering. She has chaired the Natural Resources Commission for the City of Davis, and has been on the Board of Davis Parent Nursery School, Bike Davis, and Explorit Science Center. She became aware of Yolo County CASA online. “The Hearts of Yolo stories kept coming up on my Facebook newsfeed and I really thought I could make a difference for a child who needed it. It really spoke to me.”

Michelle completed the CASA training a year and a half ago and has had her foster youth for one year now. “In that one year, she’s had two placements and is coming up on her third. The transitions are tough. Moving three times in one year is hard for anyone, let alone a seven-year-old. I try to spend as much time as I can helping her through these transitions and reminding her of her own strength and resiliency.”

During their visits, Michelle also focuses on the lighthearted, “We love to go to open gym at a local gymnasium, to the park or out to eat. I think it’s as important to focus on the lighthearted moments as it is to focus on the heavy stuff. Kids need to be kids too.”

With a fifth grader and eighth grader of her own, and in the midst of completing her teaching credential in science, Michelle is very busy, but she feels that her time commitment as a CASA volunteer fits right in to her schedule, “Yes, there is a time commitment involved to being a CASA volunteer, but in comparison to other volunteer activities, I believe you make a greater impact. Every single moment you spend as a CASA volunteer directly helps a child have a better life. You’re not making decisions from a boardroom, you’re working right alongside your foster child. That’s pretty powerful.”

Michelle also feels her role as a CASA volunteer makes her a more aware teacher. “I have always paid special attention the things kids might be going through in life and how it impacts their learning. This experience has really driven home the importance of that. Foster children are constantly going through transitions and faced with uncertainty that is distracting at best and sometimes even all consuming. During the CASA training we also talk about ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) and I think every teacher should be trained on that.”

As for the future, Michelle hopes to help children as a CASA volunteer for as long as she can. “It’s so needed. If you have ever felt called to become a CASA volunteer, please look into it. Every foster child deserves this.”

 

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