Hearts of Yolo Profile: Nazzy Pakpour

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Nazzy Pakpour’s family emigrated to the United States from Iran nearly 35 years ago. As a child, she can trace many of her own accomplishments Nazzyback to mentorship. As such, she has always felt strongly about giving back, especially to youth advocacy. When she was working as a post doc at UC Davis, she began volunteering with the Guardian Scholars, a program for former foster and transitional aged foster youth attending UC Davis. There, she learned about Yolo County CASA.

Nazzy has been a CASA volunteer for around three years and is struck by just what a strong role she plays in her foster child’s life. For example, her foster child wanted to be in an honors program, and Nazzy was a strong advocate for that, ensuring that she had the best opportunity to get in. She also pushed her to go to a science camp that she wanted to go to. “Education opens so many doors. I don’t want her to feel like she has any limitations.”

In court, Nazzy is also a strong advocate. “At first I was surprised at how the judge took my court report and read it as fact. It really hit home how vital a CASA volunteer is to a foster child’s life. Each social worker has many cases. Each teacher has many students. Foster parents often have many children. CASA volunteers just have one foster child.”

The importance of her role as a CASA volunteer was especially magnified when Nazzy’s CASA child decided she did not want to be reunified with her family. She continues to have regular visits with her biological family, but now she is headed toward adoption. “I do believe that my foster child would have been headed toward reunification if I had not helped to amplify her strong desire not to return home.”

As Nazzy reflects on her time being a CASA volunteer, she doesn’t feel that she is a parental figure, but rather compares it to being a big sister. “I’ve noticed my CASA child comes to me with concerns that she might not be ready or comfortable enough to talk to her foster parents about. I am a sounding board and an extra voice for her. I truly am the mentor that I set out to be.”

As for the future, Nazzy is inspired to be a foster parent. “Right now I have two young children of my own so being a CASA volunteer is the best way I can give back to foster children. In ten to fifteen years, though, I would love to be a foster parent.”

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