Nicole was assigned to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) July of 2010. Her court records indicated she had exhibited violent, out of control behavior towards her biological father. She had been in state care once before in Florida because of an altercation between Nicole and her father. A plane ticket and a hotel room were arranged for her biological mother to pick her up and take her to the west coast. She did not show up.
The CASA met Nicole at her group home. Nicole's side of the story was very different from the court records. Court records seem to place more of the blame on Nicole. Events proved her to be right in that her father attacked his mother on the way to visit Nicole at her group home. He attacked her in their car parked in front of a church. Nicole's grandmother lost her eye and is still traumatized by the attack.
Nicole's grandmother did not like Nicole's caseworker. CASA developed a relationship with her in efforts to obtain Nicole's birth certificate. She has since sent $150 and five packages including birthday and Christmas presents.
There was a problem because Nicole did not have her Social Security Card or an original birth certificate. CASA contacted the recorder's office in California and was able to obtain her birth certificate with help from her attorney. CASA instructed the group home to obtain her Social Security Card.
Nicole is very good with computers. A friend of hers said she has had three years of computer graphics. A CASA staff member responded to a VISION notice and obtained a new APPLE laptop for her to replace her inoperable laptop. Her therapist said this has been her lifeline. She even designed a brochure on bus safety for another girl leaving her group home because she was afraid for her safety. Nicole was required to obtain a 2.0 to keep the laptop. She finished three classes earning three Cs. Even completing one semester with a 2.0 is a huge accomplishment for a young person aging out of foster care.
CASA thought Nicole would extend her commitment to the Cabinet for educational purposes. She decided not to, under pressure from a half-sister who sent her a plain ticket to move to the west coast on her l8th birthday. Nicole's CASA even volunteered to drive her to the airport (leaving at 3:00 AM!). Everyone felt this was a bad decision because her half-sister lives in a mobile home with her boyfriend and her two children. She barely knew her half-sister.
Just before her 18thbirthday, Nicole's CASA took her on a tour of WKU. She fell in love with the campus. She finished one semester at the Glasgow campus but did not like the campus because she did not get to meet many people. We explained to her that the Glasgow WKU campus is a "commuter" campus and not like WKU Bowling Green. Nicole decided that day to refund her sister for the plane ticket and extend her commitment. She wants to major in Broadcast Journalism.