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Get to Know Our Advocates

November 15, 2019

 Aviation Structural Mechanic, Aviation Warfare First Class Petty Officer, Colin R. Nicome

 

As a Navy, E6 Enlisted Petty Officer, 1st class, Colin has served our Country for over 13 years. After hearing a local radio commercial and observing his wife advocate for two youth, Colin could no longer stand on the sidelines. 

 

Colin is a recent graduate and was sworn in on October 29, 2019. Colin is a natural leader. During advocate training, he voiced his interest in recruiting more men and was actively thinking of ways to help spread the word about CASA of Kings County. 
 

Colin grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and his parents are native to the Island of Trinidad. Colin is one of thirteen children. In March 2017, Colin moved to Lemoore and in June 2019, married Ameerah. Ameerah was sworn in as an advocate with CASA of Kings County, on November 7, 2017. When asked what Colin’s position in the Navy entailed, the list was quite extensive. In layman’s terms, Colin performs maintenance and upkeep on aircraft and peculiar equipment. He, directly and indirectly, supervises over 150 sailors. Colin performs safety-sensitive functions for the military and is the primary source of support to his team and those who interact with him daily. 


What drew you to become an Advocate? Funny, that is a bit of an argument in our home. I believe I shared about CASA to Ameerah, and she thinks she is the one who told me. Either way, she became an advocate three years ago. Honestly, I felt left out. She would attend her visits or do her research, and she couldn’t share anything with me. I found it as a barrier to our communication. I know that the work was essential to her and the kids, and I just wanted to be involved and know more! Ameerah would comment that I already advocate for others and that this was something I should consider. Due to my work in the Navy, I had to wait a little longer to apply. However, I knew that this was something that we could do together as a couple to advocate for children. 

As you reflect on the advocate training, what stands out the most to you? There is so much. However, the Lisa Project had a significant impact on me. For those who are not familiar. The Lisa Project is a multi-sensory exhibit located in Hanford and provided by the Kings County Human Services Agency. It is an exhibit that allows the visitor to see, hear, smell, and experience the reality of the world of child abuse.

 

When I reflect on the exhibition, I think about the homes and families of the friends I had in Brooklyn. Many of the rooms, in the exhibit, looked a little better or worse than some of the homes of my friends. When I was a kid, I never thought the houses were unordinary. I was raised to accept and respect my friends, their parents, homes, etc. I never thought twice about the possible neglect or abuse that may have occurred. I even recall a female friend, who, when I reached out toward her, flinched. Until now, I never really thought about it. I remember laughing and teasing her about jumping the way she did. Not even realizing there could have been a negative reason for her reaction. I look back, and the kids I grew up with ended up in gangs because they had absent parents. They were looking for family, money, or popularity. Many of them have passed away or were incarcerated. Only a few, can I say are successful. This exhibit opened my eyes to abuse. 

 

Fall 2019 Class of Advocates: I am a very analytical person. Often, I would look around the room and listen to those around me to introduce themselves almost daily. I would think, how did we (class of 13) get here at the same place? We are a very diverse group of people with varied backgrounds. In Brooklyn, where I grew up, the city was very segregated. You knew you were in a different area by the surroundings, which reflected the culture of the people. In the military, it was the opposite. We are a melting pot of people. In our training at CASA, we were such a diverse group of people; however, like-minded. We had a former foster youth, a retired Human Services employee, a former foster parent, a teacher, a school psychologist, a community activist, a retired school administrator, a Navy reservist, and an engineer. However, we were all drawn to serve and advocate for children.

 

What are the three words that describe CASA? CASA instills HOPE.

After watching his wife advocate for the past few years, Colin applied and completed his training. Although he was awaiting his orders, he was remaining hopeful that he would stay in Lemoore. Unfortunately, for CASA of Kings County, Colin received his orders this month, and he and his lovely wife Ameerah will be stationed in MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, and will move in April 2020. Although this is a loss to our county, we know that both Colin and Ameerah will continue to do amazing things and advocate for others wherever they call home. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Ameerah, for your three years of advocacy. You were a positive addition to the lives of your youth. Thank you both for your work and service to our Country. We wish you the very best.

 

 

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