Hearts of Yolo: Ali Harder

Thursday, Nov 3, 2016

Ali Harder moved to Yolo County from Oregon in 2012 when she and her husband both found new jobs in the area and Ali planned to go back to school. “I’ve always wanted to work on behalf of children so I am currently going back to school to become a social worker.” Before she moved, Ali was going through the training process in Oregon to become a CASA. “When I arrived in the area, there was no question as to whether or not I would continue pursuing my goal to become a CASA. I applied to the training in Yolo County and was accepted. I’ve now been a CASA here for about a year-and-a-half.”

Ali was prepared for the relationship with her CASA child to take a while to form, but was pleasantly surprised when things “clicked” right from the beginning. “My CASA child loves to learn and so do I. He is constantly asking me questions during our visits and it really keeps me on my toes. When I don’t know the answer, we both look it up on my phone. It’s fun to figure it out together.”

In addition to the relational component, Ali is honored to have the ability to represent her CASA child in court. “It’s not always easy. There are custody battles, basic needs, and other issues that I’ve become really passionate about. I work really hard to get the best resources for my CASA child and take that component very seriously.” Ali is also grateful for Yolo County CASA’s staff when she needs assistance. “If I ever have a question or need help getting something to fruition, Yolo County CASA’s staff is always there for me and extremely helpful. I just have to pick up the phone and Tracy or Jen are on the other end, waiting to help.”

Ali cites her own childhood as a reason behind her passion for becoming a CASA volunteer. “I had a picturesque childhood until I was 10 years old. My parents got divorced and all of a sudden my life involved custody hearings and uncertainty. After getting a taste for what foster children experience on a regular basis, I knew I needed to help someday.”

Ali is busy with school, her job, and would like a family of her own someday, however, she is committed to her role as a CASA volunteer. “I’m pretty obsessive about how I schedule my time and the weekly visits are always a priority. Busy people can be CASA volunteers. It all fits with a little planning and a lot of passion. I could have waited for the “right time” in my schedule… perhaps after school…but why wait when children need you now?”

Thank you, Ali, for your commitment to making the world a better place for foster children.

For technical questions and comments regarding this website,
please contact the Webmaster.