One of our favorite parts of the different people who volunteer here at CASA of Williamson County is just that — how many different people we get to meet. Even though we’re all united by a shared passion for children, the various paths that led us here as a numerous as our volunteers. This month we got to know volunteer Jason Morris and what keeps him going. Keep reading to learn more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is John Jason Morris. Strangely my middle initial is on my birth certificate, so I guess I’ve always been an AKA! I was born in Bakersfield, California, but moved to East Texas before my first birthday. I grew up in and around Texarkana which straddles the Texas/Arkansas border and has a courthouse and post office that spans across the two states. This geographical rarity is probably what contributed to my desire to travel—something I’ve done all of my adult life. Immediately after high school I served in the US Air Force where I was deployed frequently to far off places. After leaving the service I settled in—settled is a strong word—I lived in Bryan, Henderson, Denton, San Angelo, and Austin.
Most of my adult life has been spent working in the tech industry, although I have tried my hand at several other vocations over the years. I’ve driven school busses as well as charter busses. I am a licensed real estate agent and have been in that industry since 2015 both full time and on the side when other endeavors occupy my time. I was briefly in mortgage lending and while I enjoyed my time as a lender the benefits didn’t add up!
When you’re not volunteering, what are some of your other interests or hobbies?
Motorcycles have been a part of my life for nearly 40 years and are a big hobby of mine. I got my first one when I was eight and always dreamed of traveling to far off places on two wheels. Oftentimes work and family life got in the way but as I’ve gotten older I’ve found a little more time to ride. So far, I’ve ridden in 18 states, dozens of landmarks and parks, and have plans to visit the rest of them in the next few years.
Along with my love of riding I’ve always had a strong desire to serve others. From my time in the Air Force, to my training as an emergency medical technician and work in security, to my years as a CASA volunteer and time spent at the GISD Learning Center, I’ve always looked for opportunities to serve others. The GISD Learning Center is just plain fun because I get to read to kiddos, play with them on the playground, participate in functions and activities, and watch them grow.
In 2020, I found a way to join the two desires by becoming a certified RiderCoach who teaches motorcycle safety and licensing. Don’t tell anyone but they actually pay me to talk about my hobby, introduce safety concepts to others and hopefully through those conversations reduce injury and trauma that can result from risky riding! Since 2020 I’ve had the pleasure to teach over 600 new and experienced riders from all over Texas. From youngsters literally hours after their 15th birthday (the earliest you can get a motorcycle endorsement in Texas) to seasoned septuagenarians looking for a new adventure I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
What drew you to volunteering as a CASA?
I am blessed to be in my 25th year of marriage to my wonderful wife Laurel. We’ve had the opportunity to guide three wonderful, intelligent, and compassionate children into adulthood. We have called Georgetown home for the last ten years (after living in Northern Kentucky, Maple Lake MN, and a brief stint in Toledo, OH and Washington DC) and enjoy being part of a community that celebrates diversity and comes together in time of need. This local attitude is what drew me to increase my volunteer work and find CASA. I believe every child needs an opportunity to grow in a safe and nurturing environment and am proud to have the ability to do so. I have been told that I have a servant’s heart and am always looking for ways to make the most of what I have while sharing with others.
What’s one of the biggest challenges of being a CASA?
If there is one thing I can say about my time with CASA it’s that there have been some hard times and tough conversations. There have been situations with the children that did their best to break me. Those situations are not the norm but do happen and the thought that keeps me with CASA is that if it’s that tough to observe then I need to give everything within me to help those young precious children get through them. The value of what we do is immeasurable, and the need is great.