Kathleen Casasa Blouin, a senior at Deering High School, helps plan and lead counseling programs to ease the emotional trauma that children typically experience when their parents’ divorce or separate.
“Through experience, I know the emotional toll that divorce or separation can and does have on children,” said Kathleen. They need to realize, she added, “that they are not alone and that divorce or separation is not their fault.”
Kathleen first became involved in this cause as a fund-raiser for the Kids First Center in Portland, which offers divorce support-group sessions for children and adolescents. After raising more than $350 to help children from low-income families attend the program, she began volunteering as a co-facilitator at the center, helping a social worker conduct 1½-hour sessions for children 5 to 14 years old once a week for six weeks.
Kathleen helps plan a theme for each session, leads discussions, organizes activities, and assists in other ways. “Some of the children come into the group shy, reserved, and awkward, but by the end are talkative, confident, and outspoken,” said Kathleen. “Every time, the transformation is amazing and inspiring.”