Ranch & Coast Magazine

December 2022

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Funded completely through donations and grants, Cast Hope takes its kid participants, along with their mentor, on fishing trips about twice a month for an entire year, and all supplies are provided by the organization. "All they have to do is show up," says Bowman, who is quick to reiterate, "But, we're not fishing for them. It's an allegory for life: We're not doing it for them, we're teaching them how to do it for themselves." Once their first year, which includes a day of service as well as a "science day," is completed, Cast Hope recognizes their accomplishment by gifting the kids and their mentors each their own complete fishing tackle. e kids are then welcome to continue in the program and even become involved as mentors to the next class of participants. Working side by side with those they serve, Bowman says he tries to translate the confidence kids gain through even small successes on the water to the confidence to set goals in their lives away from Cast Hope, even amid the challenges they will surely face. "e metaphor is the fly rod," he says. "Life isn't always a perfect cast, but you just make the next cast, and chances are, you're going to hit it." casthope.org Voices for Children Kids in the foster system endure enough hardship. e separation of siblings is one more blow, however, that many kids may face in their journey. For brothers Luis and Sean Green, it was a very real possibility during their childhood in the late '90s. ough younger brother Sean may have been perceived as more "adoptable" than his older brother simply because of his age, the boys' court-appointed special advocate (CASA), Art Tabanao, who was matched with them by Voices for Children, worked to ensure they would not be split up as they awaited adoption. While Luis struggled with anger and frustration at their circumstances, he remembers, "Sean was really quiet and super cute," which seemed to make the case to separate them even more clear-cut. But using only age as a determinant of adoption viability didn't take into consideration how one more loss could do further emotional harm to then five-year-old Sean. "ere was this moment where Art was able to illustrate that [though] it shows there's that viability with age, if you take us apart, what you'll find is that you have two people that are not candidates at all," says Luis, who had taken on an almost paternal role with his brother, even at just around seven years old. "Voices for Children appointing Art to us was, I think, the day that our lives changed, not only from his advocacy and being able to help us out with the part of keeping us together and making sure we stayed together from home to home, but also just Art being a mentor as far as having someone to lean on, give us advice, take us to the park, just little things to make sure that we were doing OK, and I think that's where it brightened our experience," adds Sean, now 30. e pair were ultimately adopted by Sean's third grade teacher, Debi Green (now Romero). "It didn't stop when we got adopted," says Luis, 32, who now lives in Florida with a family of his own. "What Art created was something that was a lifelong friendship and mentorship." >> ranchandcoast.com @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2022 41 Sean Green, Art Tabanao, Debi Romero, Voices for Children Vice President of Programs Sabrina Goosby, and Luis and Teaha Green with kids Kaidahn, Soraya, Sephora, and Avyana PHOTO COURTESY OF VOICES FOR CHILDREN

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