Executive director of CASA of Kern County
Amy Travis’ journey has been the culmination of doors opening and doors closing.
A closed door simply indicated that was not the direction she was destined to go, the path ultimately leading her to the door she was meant to walk through.
That’s why she moved back to her hometown of Bakersfield, where she was able to start a successful valet-parking business for high-end events. That’s how she became the executive director of CASA of Kern County rather than working for the National CASA Association in Seattle.
Amy was always drawn toward the nonprofit sector. She started volunteering during her free time and realized she wanted to make a career out of it.
“I wanted my work to be meaningful all day, not just after work,” she said.
She started as a community outreach coordinator for CASA of Kern County seven years ago and became its executive director in January 2019.
“I always look back and go, ‘I asked to work with a nonprofit and (got placed) at the best one.’ That’s been exciting,” Amy said.
Growing up in a dysfunctional family living in poverty and lacking consistency, Amy knows from experience the difference one person who puts special interest in a child can make. For her, it was her aunt. That experience, in addition to being the mother of a 16-year-old daughter and a 16-month-old son, motivates her to fight for youths who don’t have that resource.
“We know that just one advocate in the life of a child can change their life forever,” she said. “It empowers me even more, especially with my son being so young. I can’t even fathom harming him and these kids have all been harmed by their parents. Those are the ones that are supposed to protect them. When I go home and I get to see my son and love on him, he really brings that joy back to me where I can go on and keep doing what I’m doing because I know that it’s his future, too – it’s all of our futures.”