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stephanie Shelerstaffphotos sharondabridgeforth

Executive Director

I am thrilled to join CASA of Kent County as Executive Director. Since arriving in October 2021, I have been so impressed and moved by the passion of the staff, volunteers, donors, and family court personnel as they work for the best interest of children who are in foster care. 

I have taken an unusual path in my career. When I graduated from Calvin College, now Calvin University, with a bachelor’s degree in Education, I thought I would be a teacher forever. But after 15 years in the classroom, I moved on to other adventures. One of the stops along the way was at D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, a local child welfare agency, where I was the lead social worker in a mentoring program for young moms. The goal of the program was to empower parents and reduce abuse and neglect. During these years, I had the privilege of building relationships with amazing volunteers, moms, and children.

Next, I worked at Kent School Services Network and was placed at Sibley Elementary School in the Grand Rapids Public Schools. I loved being back in a school setting, albeit in a different role. Again, my job was to empower and support children, families, and school staff members.

Most recently, I was the Vice President of Client Services at another local nonprofit that supports parents with young children. I oversaw a team of dedicated staff who walked alongside vulnerable families.

Now, I am excited about the future for CASA of Kent County. We are fortunate to have wonderful volunteers, ambassadors, and stakeholders who participate in this work with us. If you want to know anything about CASA, or you are interested in volunteering or supporting us in any way, I’d be happy to chat over a cup of coffee (well, for me it would be tea). 

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