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When Michelle Lywood began advocating for Alex, the 19-year-old teenager was six months pregnant with twins. Alex ended up in foster care when she was 12 after growing up with a mother who struggled with drug addiction and a father she rarely saw. After years of enduring multiple foster homes and schools, Alex dropped out of high school.

“Alex had no one to help her prepare for the twins’ birth, so I basically went into overdrive,” says Michelle who provided critical emotional support to Alex and connected her to resources. Alex welcomed the help. They went to doctor appointments, labor and delivery classes, and set Alex’s house up with everything she would need to care for the babies. When Alex gave birth, Michelle was by her side, advocating for her and communicating her wishes to the doctor.  “Michelle was my go-to person,” recalls Alex. “I wouldn’t have known what I needed if she hadn’t helped me get everything ready. I wish every kid in foster care could have a CASA.”

"My goal is to be there for Alex, no matter what. I want to have a lifelong impact on her and her sons.” Michelle said.

As Alex’s CASA, Michelle has submitted reports to the court outlining Alex’s struggles and has advocated on her behalf to the judge. “I’m here to represent Alex’s best interests and help the court understand her needs,” says Michelle. “One of the joys of being a CASA is making the future a little brighter for young people like Alex.”