GAL Volunteer out of the Escambia County Office
Michelle recalls how she knew she had made the right decision to volunteer when she felt her mama bear instincts kick in during her first visit with the two siblings on her first case. That need to advocate for the best interests of her children has been going strong for the over six years she has been a volunteer in Escambia County.
What has been one of her most profound experiences as a GAL?
Empowering her kids brings Michelle happiness. When one of her teen girls was struggling to see outside the bubble of hardship surrounding her, Michelle helped her see all of the opportunities available. That included education after high school provided by the Florida College Tuition and Fee Exemption program. Michelle is happy to report that this young woman is now enrolled in college.
What advice and hope would she give to new volunteers in the program?
When you first come in, it can feel overwhelming, imagine what it must feel like for a child without the resources and acquired wisdom of age. Give it time and be patient, soon you will feel a shift in perspective and you will begin to see happy endings for the children who you are helping. Most importantly, keep your word. If you’re on you way to see your child and you get a flat, “call a cab!” Your child has been let down so many times, be the person who renews their hope and ability to trust.