Volunteer Spotlight - July 2017

Meet CASA Tracy Forsyth of Summit
'I am someone he can trust ... he is worth fighting for.'

Tracy Forsyth credits her mother’s strength and reliability, and her directive “to always try to leave a situation better than I found it,” with who she is today. 

A Summit mom of three young adults — two sons and a daughter, ages 17 to 21. An attorney who’s held litigation and corporate posts. Wife to her college sweetheart. 

Tracy describes her “amazing family” as motivation for taking on the CASA volunteer role. “There have always been so many layers of support that stood between me and failure. That’s what is missing with kids in the foster system: a loving and dependable support system. As a parent and a lawyer, I’ve always had a strong interest in improving the lives of people struggling, particularly children. … As parents, we advocate for our kids without giving it a second thought. I wanted to fill that void to the extent possible for a child who was lacking someone to fight for their interests.”

Although the teen Tracy advocates for is from Union County, he’s living in South Jersey. But she doesn’t let geography get in her way. Despite the distance, she notes, “I do my best to visit him regularly and write him letters in between visits. “Most of these kids have been failed repeatedly by the adults in their lives.  Consistency,  patience,  perseverance  and  reliability are

the only ways to build a solid relationship. They’ve heard many words and many promises, and most of the time they lead to disappointment. A CASA has to be the exception to that rule.” So letters between visits it is.

Her diligence is paying off: “It’s very rewarding to see him start to really believe I am in his corner, I am someone he can trust, and someone that will not let him down. That he is worth fighting for.”

Tracy’s no stranger to volunteerism, spending time each week for nine years at Newark’s St. John’s Soup Kitchen as well as serving on boards for Summit schools. Perhaps Tracy’s approach to life, and how she’s living it, can best be summed up by her favorite quote: “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
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