Over 20 years of serving in the field of education, Marilyn Fiebig dedicated her life to serving the youth and giving them all they needed to succeed in life.
And while she may no longer be teaching, Fiebig’s desire to work remained, and so over the last 3.5 years, she has utilized the same skills and strengths she possessed as a teacher in her role as a volunteer CASA for CASA of Grant County.
Fiebig spent most of her career in the state of Missouri, and continued teaching after moving to Grant County, working primarily in the realm of special services. Additionally, she worked as a teachers’ aide for Mississinewa for five years.
Once she migrated out of education, however, she still felt that call to service.
“I felt like I still had things to contribute to children,” Fiebig said. “I quit work and decided that…contributing to the life of a child is something I wanted to continue to do. There are a lot of kids out there who need something.”
As Fiebig worked to figure out her next step in her life, her husband mentioned CASA of Grant County, stating he had heard Executive Director Leslie Hendricks speak at a function and that she might be interested in what they offer.
Intrigued, Fiebig called Hendricks and scheduled an appointment, and after chatting with her, she began the training program. While she originally did not think she could handle it, Fiebig powered through, and quickly was given her first case, which she has been a part of her entire tenure as a volunteer CASA.
“[We] know that kids sometimes come from bad situations, but I think because I’m dealing with the family as well as the child and all of the service providers, I did develop some sympathy for the family,” Fiebig said. “I’ve developed empathy for the child and the situation that he was living in and the trauma that child had grown through.”
As do all CASA volunteers, Fiebig spends time on the phone or emailing service providers on a regular basis. Some days consist of writing court reports, while others are spent chatting with service providers to make sure that the child is progressing and receiving the best care possible.
While it is only one case, Fiebig stated that it has a plethora of moving parts and has several complicated factors. However, despite the busy days and hectic schedule, she believes that her time as a volunteer CASA has given her a perspective on a different side of life than she is accustomed to, and it has helped her throughout the process.
“It’s all about seeing the child make progress,” Fiebig said. “It’s about seeing the change that has been brought about in him and knowing that there might have been a different outcome had I not been the person who was there. I brought enough to the case from my own personal background that has made it different for him.”
As one of CASA’s longest tenured volunteers, Fiebig sees the value of not only what CASA of Grant County stands for, but also the tremendous service that CASA provides for the children of Grant County who do not have a voice advocating on their behalf.
“I think CASA is vital,” Fiebig said. “Every kid needs a voice. Most kids have a voice with their parents, with their family, sometimes with their teachers. But every kid needs a voice. And CASAs can provide that voice that maybe a kid would not normally have in their life. Every kid deserves someone in their corner. Every kid.”