Mario Lopez and CASA Join Forces To Aid Foster Youth

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Photo: Mario Lopez and CASA kids

Photo Credit: Jeremy Bamidele

The fourth annual Evening to Foster Dreams Gala honored Judge Michael Nash and Mario Lopez for their work with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).

 

CASA is dedicated to helping children in the foster system struggling with abuse and mental illness by assigning them an advocate to guide them on the path to recovery and success.

 

Elvis Nolasco’s support for CASA stems from personal experiences with the foster system.

 

“Growing up in NY I didn’t always walk a straight line. The home atmosphere was sketchy at times, and I ended up at Cofton house, a facility that helps kids who are either in troubled homes or abusing drugs and just not comfortable in their surroundings.” Said Nolasco.

 

“So when I ended up at Cofton house I was placed in foster care for 3-4 months. The people that worked there, the advocates and counselors, were very instrumental in making sure that they looked at the bigger picture. Without their advocacy and intervention, I don’t know where I could have possibly ended up. I was one of the lucky once that got to be re-entered and reintegrated back into my family. I’m grateful to be where I’m at and I am thankful for the experience.”

 

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Photo: Shaun Sipos (The Babymoon)

Photo Credit: Jeremy Bamidele

 

Shaun Sipos, the lead in the upcoming film The Babymoon, has a foster brother and spoke with Los Angeles Entertainment News about mentoring youths.

 

“Kids need to be loved and shown how to become responsible and a contributing member of society” Said Sipos.

 

“If kids were to spend a day with me I think I would hopefully teach them the importance of being present, putting the phones down and really being present with someone.”

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Photo: Rudy Martinez (Heartbeat)

Photo Credit: Jeremy Bamidele

 

I spoke with Rudy Martinez from Heartbeat about his thoughts on adoption. Martinez explained, “My husband and I want to start a family one day, and we’re not your traditional family, so we’ve actually done a lot of research into being foster parents. Whether or not we become foster parents or CASAs someday, we are passionate about helping kids have a voice”

 

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Photo: Kelly Hu (left) and Allysa Belton (right)

 

Kelly Hu shared with Los Angeles Entertainment News an anecdote about how social services works to help kids.

 

“I met a young woman in a pageant, [she was a] contestant from Vermont and a foster child. The way that she was able to enter the pageant was that social services had taken a collection bucket around for her. They gave enough money for her to come up with the entry fee, which I think back then was 800 dollars, which was quite a lot. But that’s how much they believed in her. That is why these social workers are so amazing, because you know they don’t get paid anything. But here they are supporting this foster child in a beauty pageant.”

“She buys an evening gown dress for $35 from Ross and she ends up winning the Miss Teen USA Pageant. She was 17 about to turn 18, and she told me that she was about to be adopted. And I said why at this point would you bother to be adopted? Here you are, you’ve lived on your own and in foster care for so many years. She said, ‘because I want my children to have someone to come home to for Thanksgiving and Christmas.’ This touched my heart in such a way that I’ve carried it with me all these years.”

Author: Alyssa Belton

Alyssa Belton, a sunny San Diegan and entertainment enthusiast. Belton is a senior at California State University Los Angeles, pursuing a Communications degree with a focus in Broadcast Journalism. Ultimately her goal is to incorporate her affinity for travel with that of writing and reporting. Aside from the realm of journalism you will find her on YouTube where she hosts a lifestyle and beauty channel by the name of Alyssa Jeanesse. Alyssa is dedicated to scouring the Los Angeles event scene and asking the pressing questions. The results of which you will find right here on Los Angeles Entertainment News.

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