Congratulations to our 2022 Honoree's! Your advocacy for CASA and the children we serve has not gone unnoticed
The Story Changer significantly impacts the trajectory of a child’s or children’s journey through the child welfare system. We could not think of a more deserving individual to receive the inaugural Story Changer Award than Janelle Lawless.
Janelle Lawless is a retired circuit court Judge from Ingham County. She won an open seat on the circuit bench in 2002 and was re-elected to six-year terms in 2008 and 2014. She spent her entire tenure in the family court division, hearing child-protection cases, adoptions, divorces, and juvenile court cases. She also served stints as chief circuit judge and presiding judge of the family division. In 2007, she helped launch the Family Recovery Court, which focuses on substance abuse treatment as a way to protect children and keep families together. Janelle Lawless was a strong advocate for CASA for Kids, Inc.’s expansion into Ingham County in 2017 and was the first Ingham County Judge to begin referring child abuse and neglect cases to CASA. Her support has allowed CASA to flourish in Ingham County.
Champion for Children: The Champion demonstrates exemplary service toward the best interest of children in Barry, Eaton, and Ingham Counties. Jason’s decade plus of dedication, leadership, and masterful navigation of CASA through a director change and Covid-19 exemplifies the Champion
Jason is approaching his 12th year of service to CASA in 2022, serving the last 11 years as the Board President. His leadership has helped us navigate through the global pandemic, and his background in financial management helped provide CASA with an efficient and effective response. Jason’s management skills were instrumental in CASA’s successful expansion into Ingham County, and his long-term commitment to CASA has supported our ongoing sustainability and longevity. His service and leadership demonstrate a deep personal connection to CASA’s mission. We are incredibly grateful for all that Jason has done for CASA and the children in our community.
CASA's Cornerstone: In honor of your formative leadership and foundational guidance, our first and only awardee - Becky Carson. Whose guided CASA's expansion into Ingham County and laid the foundation for years of continued growth and exceptional advocacy. Her dedication as Executive Director for a decade shepherded CASA into the agency we are today. We are forever grateful for the foundation she built for us!