One of the longest serving CASA volunteers, Sharon Campbell, an Indiana Wesleyan graduate and long-time Taylor University employee, has dedicated a large portion of her time to provide a voice for children, advocating for their best interests.
Campbell, a Kansas native, moved to Indiana to attend Indiana Wesleyan University. After graduation and marriage, Campbell settled in Marion in 1969. She then went on to work at Taylor University, where she as filled various roles for the past 20 years, starting in the Development department and ending the remainder of her Taylor tenure in the Alumni department, where she has worked in event planning and alumni engagement.
Alongside her time at Taylor, Campbell became a CASA volunteer over 30 years ago after reading an article about CASA of Grant County and the work that they do for the children of the area. Campbell always had a soft spot for children and thought that working as a CASA volunteer would be a great way to help those in need.
Over her 30 years of service, Campbell has worked with over 30 children, helping them find safety, stability, and permanency in their lives.
“One of the things that I learned is that not everybody has a perfect life,” Campbell said. “You just realize that people need some help with their lives. They need some help with understanding their kids and how to take care of them. I learned a better view of what the world is really like rather than the ideal.”
As with all CASA volunteers, Campbell works with Department of Child Services case workers to gather information about the child that they are serving. Campbell also visits with both the child and the parents, working to build a relationship and rapport with everyone involved in a case. Depending on the age of the child, Campbell works to relate to them on their level, showing a legitimate interest in their life.
“It’s easy for kids to get lost in the system a little bit,” Campbell said. “And what we try to do is what is best for the child.”
At over 30 years of service, Campbell is the longest serving volunteer at CASA of Grant County. Over that time, she was has stated that one of the primary reasons she has been a CASA volunteer for so long is Executive Director Leslie Hendricks. While Hendricks was not the executive director when Campbell first started, she has influenced Campbell’s decision to stay the course. This due to her steadfast encouragement, her leadership, and her genuine care for those who work alongside her.
“Leslie is just always encouraging,” Campbell said. “If you have a bad day, she is just really encouraging and helps you get back to where you need to be. I really like Leslie as a director.”
Additionally, Campbell, over the course of three decades, has seen not only what CASA of Grant County stands for, but the tremendous care and service that CASA provides for children in need.
“[We are really trying to help a child and a family be able to live their lives so each one can be productive people and emotionally healthy because of the things we were able to provide them with.
“I believe CASA’s services are very important. Having someone come alongside a child and look at [things] in a different perspective…[is vital.] A CASA can be a voice for a child and be more proactive seeing what is best for them.”