Our Staff

 

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Steve Ashman is the Executive Director for CASA in Stanislaus County. In addition to his role as Executive Director, he also represents over twenty children in foster care as their CASA volunteer. A credentialed teacher, he is also a national trainer for the AVID program. A recognized expert in the field of Special Education Law, Steve has trained judges, social workers, attorneys, probation staff, and school district staff on Education Law and statutes related to those in foster care. He has also served on the National Governor’s Board Policy Committee on Education and has worked to develop policy changes to benefit all dependent youth in California and their educational outcomes. The recipient of the 2017 Stanislaus County Bar Association's Liberty Bell award and the proud father of three (including a child adopted out of foster care), Steve is a passionate advocate for all children, especially those marginalized by their circumstances.

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A Modesto resident for over 20 years, I left briefly and attended California State University, Chico from 2000 to 2004, and graduated with a BA in Psychology. After college I began working for the Girl Scouts of America in the Modesto office as an Outreach Leader and Teen Mom Program Leader. This gave me an opportunity to work with under-privileged girls and young women to try to make a difference in their lives. The experience made me want to pursue new ways to reach out to youth in need. I attended graduate school at California State University, Stanislaus and I began substitute teaching grades K-12 for Modesto City Schools and the Manteca Unified School District. I graduated from CSU Stanislaus in 2010 with a MA in School Counseling and PPS credential. After graduation, I began working as a school counselor for multiple schools and districts. When I found CASA, I realized that this program offered an opportunity for me to help those youth most in need. CASA is where I have found my calling and a way to make a significant difference in a child’s life.

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I have lived in Modesto for most of my life. I was adopted at very young age into a loving home with four other siblings who were adopted as well. I am currently in school working towards my BA in Sociology. I previously worked for the Children's Crisis Center of Stanislaus County (a nonprofit serving abused, neglected and/or at risk children). I worked with children on a daily basis along with working in a support position in their administration office. I was sworn in to be a CASA Advocate in the summer of 2015. Being a CASA is awesome! I have dedicated my career path to serving Foster youth as this population of children has a very special place in my heart.

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I am a recent Modesto transplant although I have lived at intervals in the Central Valley for the majority of my life. I grew up in Sacramento County, completing kindergarten through college there (Go Hornets!) Following college I married the handsome Dave and for a few years lived the crazy life of a Navy wife; which included moving every 6 months. Once my husband's enlistment was up, many more adventures followed with our little family (we have two brilliant daughters) and eventually we landed in Kings County where we lived for 15 years. In 2013 we moved to Modesto as empty nesters. Dave and I had always said we would volunteer for CASA when our daughters left for college. Dave set up an appointment for an interview and I crashed it. We both became advocates in May of 2014 and have really enjoyed our experiences advocating for our CASA children. It is with great pleasure that I have now become a part of the CASA of Stanislaus County team as a case manager. 

Cheryl staff pic

 

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I moved to Modesto from the Bay Area in 1992. I have been married to my best friend, Joe, for over 30 years! We have a big, beautiful, fun, crazy, loving family that are the light of our lives. I attended MJC, where I studied Child Development. I have always had a passion to work with children. As a substitute teacher, I worked in a lot of low income schools where the needs for the children were great. Sometimes their only meals were those they had at school. I looked forward to seeing those precious little faces walking into class every morning. Just to see a smile on their face would make my whole day. Even though I felt like I was making a difference, I still wanted to do something more. My heart led me to becoming a CASA Advocate in 2011, to work with children in the foster care system. I really believe in the CASA Program and that I/we can make a difference in a child’s life! When the opportunity presented itself to join the staff here at CASA of Stanislaus in 2014, I knew it was where I was supposed to be!

 

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I was born and raised in Turlock. I have one amazing, loving, smart, wild son who is only 3 yrs. old. He has significantly changed my life for the better and has pushed me to achieve things I never thought I would have been able to do. I became more familiar with CASA through the Executive Director and other Case Managers as they gave me knowledge on what they did. Once I was more acquainted with CASA I decided I wanted to be a part of it and be able to make a positive change in a child’s life. I am looking forward to being able to grow and become more experienced with all of the CASA staff.

 

 

 

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 Bio Coming Soon!