As we continue our Volunteer Spotlight series, this month we’re talked with one of our more seasoned volunteers, Erinn Hughes. If you’ve attended one of our Secret Life of a CASA sessions there’s a good chance you’ve met her as Erinn is always eager to lend a hand and share her experience as a CASA. Keep reading to get to know her a little better and learn why she supports our mission.
For those who don’t know you, can you give us a brief introduction and your background? I grew up in a small town in Central Illinois, near Peoria. I manage Brand Reputation for a large private real estate company based in Austin. My degree is actually in Elementary Education with a minor in Fine Arts & Humanities, but I only taught for a few years because the politics involved in being a teacher were just not worth it.
What is an accomplishment or achievement you are proud of? I was one of the founding members of the Xi Chapter of Alpha Delta Chi sorority at Illinois State University. I am still in contact with many of my sisters and am so grateful for that experience.
Who is one of your heroes/roles models? My parents are really my heroes. They are both amazing, flawed, beautiful human beings. They met in college and will be married 54 years in January and have loved me and each other well through thick and thin.
When you’re not volunteering, what are some of your other interests or hobbies? I am a HUGE ice hockey fan. I grew up with hockey in Central Illinois and have been a lifelong St. Louis Blues fan, Peoria was the minor league for St. Louis for 30+ years when I was growing up. I am currently a 14 year season-ticket holder with the local hockey team the Texas Stars which is the minor league affiliate of the Dallas Stars. I am also very into traveling, I’ve been to every state but Alaska and I have been to about a half dozen other countries including almost every single Canadian Provence. And finally, I am a huge live music, live theater, and movie fan.
What drew you to volunteer as a CASA? God chose not to bless me with children, so I get the privilege of being able to positively impact the lives of other people’s children by being a CASA.
What’s one of the biggest challenges of being a CASA? The biggest challenge for me is trying to not want to adopt every single kid I help myself! Seriously though, I love being a CASA, it’s the best volunteer experience I’ve ever had I will do it for as long as I can.
What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a CASA? JUST DO IT! It can be heart wrenching, but the impact you have on these kids is so worth it.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be? I would eliminate the discord. Not that I want people to change who they are, but that everyone would go back to have manners and showing kindness for one another, the disharmony in this world these days is out of hand.
Finally, tell us a few fun facts about yourself. I have broken 12 bones, I’m a total klutz. I can play 11 instruments. I have met almost every US President since Ronald Reagan.