Jan 31, 2012 09:31AM
Photo by Dante Fontana
Although John Adams had a successful 30-year career as a corporate executive, his son’s autism diagnosis completely changed his perspective on life.
“I realized there was more to life than making money,” Adams recalls. “I wanted to do something that had more meaning.” Talking to his son’s teachers and school counselors taught him the importance of advocacy in a child’s life. He later applied those experiences to his new position as the executive director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates: casaeldorado.org), an independent non-profit organization in El Dorado County providing court advocates for children who have entered the system due to neglect or abuse in their home environments.
With the help of CASA’s more than 240 volunteers, Adams works to give children a stable adult presence in their lives, while also helping judges make the best decisions about their future welfare. Adams’ goal is to one day provide an advocate for every child who enters the court system, as a means to assist kids going through what is often one of the most tumultuous periods of their lives. “It’s not easy, but it’s rewarding,” Adams says. “And I know it really does make a difference.”
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