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“A CALLING TO BE A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS…”
A Dilley parent and longterm resident has taken the reins as volunteer supervisor for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of South Texas, whose members speak up for children’s interests in foster care and adoptive court hearings.
Connie Lopez will begin serving the organization for its Frio and La Salle county volunteer advocates upon Francie Gasch’s retirement at the end of this year.
Lopez has been a CASA volunteer since August 2018. She says she first became aware of the needs in the foster care system through direct contact with foster children in her public school classroom.
The organization’s new volunteer supervisor was born in Brownwood, Texas, and attended school in Santa Anna, Texas, for the first and second grades before moving with her parents to Carlsbad, New Mexico. She graduated with honors from Carlsbad Senior High School and attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in education at the College of the Southwest in Hobbs. She went on to teach various Special Education classes in New Mexico and Texas for 33 years before retiring from public schools. She then accepted a position at a Christian school in Pearsall, teaching lower elementary, which was her first teaching assignment in regular education. She also served as a Sunday School teacher for elementary-aged children.
“Connie has been involved with children’s ministry for more than twenty-five years,” CASA Executive Director Joni Garcia said. “She and her family have been active in ministry to children’s shelters and orphanages in Mexico.
“We welcome Connie to our CASA team,” Garcia said.
“For a very long time, I have felt a calling to be a voice for the voiceless,” Lopez said. “CASA and its mission are near and dear to my heart. I look forward to working with CASA volunteers and staff to help find safe, loving, drug-free permanent homes for abused and neglected children in Frio and La Salle counties.”
Lopez lives in Dilley with her husband and youngest son, “several pampered cats and two spoiled dogs.” She has two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.