Take the first step to becoming a CASA advocate:


June 2024 Advocate Spotlight: Guy Munster

We invite you to meet Guy Munster, nominated by his Case Supervisor, Mike Quinn. Guy joined Child Advocates as a volunteer Advocate in early 2024 and quickly took his first case for a Justice-Involved Youth (JIY).

We asked Guy to share his experience as an Advocate for a Justice-Involved Youth.

Is there anything unique about your background that contributes to your approach to advocacy?
Volunteer Advocate Guy Munster

I retired after 30-plus years with ExxonMobil, following seven years in the U.S. Army. My career with ExxonMobil brought me to Texas (I consider myself a Texan; my children who were born here beg to differ). Given my work history, I take well to case management as it draws on my project/leadership experience, but I continue to be challenged in very positive ways by the diversity of demands placed on Advocates and the wealth of knowledge and care to draw on from others involved (Child Advocates, the courts, Child Protective Services, Montgomery County Juvenile Detention, and the schools).

How did you become interested in volunteering as an Advocate?

I have been volunteering in various ministry and local missions full-time since retiring in late 2021, and Child Advocates of Montgomery County is well-known in those circles, so as I learned more, it felt like a great “next step.”

Did you have any reservations about volunteering?

I am not naturally a “good listener” or “encourager,” but I feel called to grow and serve in this capacity. The wealth of experience, structure, training, direction, encouragement, and support that Child Advocates provides has made this very easy!

Explain in your own words the work you do as a volunteer Advocate. Why is it essential for a child in foster care?

My job is to help the family (in my case it’s a single mom) and everyone else involved to help the youth achieve the goals set by the court. Those goals include contribute to family wellbeing, attend and succeed at school, and get ready for the greater opportunities and freedom that await after the terms of the order are satisfied. It’s exciting to see that others (the juvenile probation officer, the school counselor, everyone at Child Advocates) share in that mission.

Explain how you decided to advocate for a justice-involved youth? 

I have worked with teen/pre-teen boys at the BridgeWay Shelter (Yes to Youth) as a tutor for the last 18 months and wanted to have an advocacy case with similar needs of those youth. I was advised my experience aligns well with the needs of Justice-Involved Youth. After speaking with Julie [Julie Brown, Training Manager] and Mike [Mike Quinn, Case Supervisor] about this, it appeared to be a good fit.

What has surprised you most about your advocacy work?

Initially, seeing young people in court or detention in jumpsuits and shackles and watching everyone around them (court staff, attorneys, juvenile department, even families) not consider that as unusual for a kid was striking. While our youth and their families are involved with the juvenile justice system in significant ways, they are not defined by those circumstances. We’re not immune to that contrast—we must be intentional to not let those realities limit the potential for our youth and their families.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in becoming an Advocate for a Justice-Involved Youth?

Serving youth involved in the justice system is hard work for the courts, the juvenile department, and the schools, so as an Advocate we need to be ready to provide meaningful and timely help, so listen closely, be curious and respectful, and think about how we’d want others to show compassion and care.

What would you like the community to know about children/youth involved in the juvenile justice system?

The kids we serve are the kids and families in our community. They are in our schools, aspiring to work and live alongside their peers. While they are dealing with the consequences of some bad choices, our entire community benefits from having them get back on their feet and moving forward into a brighter future. No one benefits from having these youth eventually move into the adult justice system if they continue to struggle into adulthood.

What have you learned about justice-involved youth? How has it changed your perspective on the juvenile justice system?

I have been especially impressed by our courts and the judges involved—to see the compassion and commitment that our elected officials share from the bench is inspiring.  

Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you?

I remember the first time I saw the youth I support. He just looked like any other kid I see at the schools my kids attend in Conroe. While I wasn’t sure how to help him and his mom, I knew that was what I wanted to do, which is a great feeling, because (as with our own kids) there are twists and turns in the journey where that help can be increasingly hard to provide, so keeping that “fire” burning is important.

Anything else you want to share about Child Advocates?

The Child Advocates staff are truly supportive of volunteers. We’re encouraged to do everything we can to help, but never pressured. Knowing that Mike and the other supervisors and staff are there (and ready to step in whenever and however needed) gives me confidence to press in and learn how to be a better Advocate.

Change a CHILD’s story today. Impact our community forever.

Learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer: VOLUNTEER or give online DONATE