If you want to meet someone who instantly lights up a room with energy and is driven by making an impact in the community, look no further than Dr. Gail Potts. Since 2022 she has been volunteering with CASA Wilco and was recently kind enough to share her remarkable journey with us. Keep reading below as we dive into her experiences, accomplishments, and her heartfelt dedication to serving her community.
Tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
My name is Dr. Gail Potts, and I hail from the beautiful town of Galveston, Texas. My career journey has taken some unexpected turns. I initially ventured into child development during high school, followed by nursing school. However, I soon realized that a medical profession wasn’t for me. That’s when I made a significant shift by enlisting in the United States Army as a Telecommunications Specialist. Surprisingly, during my military service, I discovered a hidden talent for basketball and even had the honor of representing the All Army and Armed Forces Basketball teams for three consecutive years. After a fulfilling 20-year military career, I retired and accepted a position managing a Communications Security Program at the Pentagon in Washington DC. I was there during the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
What is an accomplishment or achievement you are proud of?
One of my proudest achievements was completing my doctorate degree with honors. It’s a personal milestone that holds a special place in my heart because I was diagnosed with peripheral blindness during my journey. I thought my career was over, but I chose to prove to myself and motivate others with disabilities that anything is possible. I firmly believe that no barrier is too insurmountable, and you can achieve your dreams if you challenge yourself.
Who is one of your heroes/role models?
My superhero and role model is my late mother, Mary Potts-Singleton. She was a single parent raising six children. What makes her my superhero is her selfless service to others. My mother worked tirelessly, cared for her children, and cooked for the entire neighborhood. She never hesitated to provide food, clothing, and guidance to any child in need. She instilled in us the values of hard work and compassion for others and made sure we were involved in our community to stay on the right path in life.
When you’re not volunteering, what are some of your other interests or hobbies?
When I’m not volunteering, I enjoy exploring the world through international travel, tending to my yard, diving into captivating books, spending serene moments on the beach, and cherishing quality time with friends and family. Traveling is a passion I developed during my military career, and I continue to explore new countries and cultures. My most recent adventures took me to Greece and Portugal, and there’s truly nothing like immersing oneself in the diversity of the world.
What drew you to volunteer as a CASA?
While serving in the military, I had a strong desire to give back to my community. I served as the President of my Homeowners Association for six years, but my passion for working with children led me to become a foster parent. During that time, I worked closely with CASA, and I found the experience incredibly rewarding. After retiring and relocating to Texas, I saw an online advertisement for CASA of Williamson County and knew it was the right path for me.
What’s one of the biggest challenges of being a CASA?
After a case is closed, one of the biggest challenges I face is not knowing how the children I served are faring in their new placements. As a CASA, my goal is to make the best recommendations to support the child(ren) and their family. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously, knowing that the lives of children and families depend on our recommendations to the court.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a CASA?
I would say to anyone considering becoming a CASA volunteer to take the leap, do your research, visit the CASA website, and make that call. Being a CASA will be a profoundly rewarding experience if you have a genuine desire to support the children in your community. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and CASA is a family of volunteers who share information to ensure we provide the most accurate information for the judge to make decisions about the children’s futures. We need great volunteers to continue building our communities and establishing a solid foundation for our children.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
If I could change one thing in the world, it would be to reduce the overwhelming influence of electronic devices and social media platforms on children. I aspire to see families interacting more, paying attention to their children, and engaging in meaningful conversations. The simple act of putting down electronics and connecting with one another can make a profound difference in the lives of our children and society as a whole. Acknowledging and engaging with others in our community, whether at work or on the streets, is a small but impactful step toward creating a more compassionate and connected world.
CASA of Williamson County would not exist without a fantastic and dedicated team of advocate volunteers. The following spotlight interview is an opportunity to learn more about one of our volunteers and their journey as a CASA. If you are a CASA Wilco volunteer and would like to share your story, please e-mail Christina Clary at email@example.com to be featured in a future Volunteer Spotlight.