About us

Find out all about who we are, what we do, and meet the Yavapai CASA for Kids Foundation team.

OUR STORY

 

It all started in 1995 when Tucson created the nonprofit Arizona Council CASA, Inc. (ACCI). Their goal was to raise funds to distribute for unfunded needs of wards of the courts and their CASAs around the state through a county chapter system. In 2001 Barbara Polk saw a need to support the CASA program and the volunteers who work with the abused, neglected and abandoned children in Yavapai County.  She applied and was accepted into the ACCI that same year to form the Yavapai chapter.

In 2003 Barbara Polk, Pat Williamson, Dottie Strate and Max Bell applied to the Corporation Commission and IRS for the Yavapai Chapter to have its own 501c(3) status. With the approval of their application, Yavapai CASA for Kids Foundation (YC4KF) was born

YC4KF continues to grow and is entirely funded through donations by individuals, supported by the Arizona Foster Care Charitable Tax Credit,  local businesses, and foundations. There are little administrative costs associated with the organization so nearly all of the funds received are used in support of foster children in Yavapai County. 

The first purpose of  YC4KF was to provide grants to fund the unmet needs of children in foster care in Yavapai County. Since then the Foundation has expanded to include many other types of services such as a family visitation center, training, and transportation expenses for CASAs. We provide emergency clothing cards, bi-annual clothing supplements, Christmas gifts, and support for activities for foster youth to name a few.

Eleven Arizona counties have CASA support councils, and YC4KF is an active member of the Arizona CASA Support Councils coalition and is a member of the National CASA Organization.

OUR LEADERSHIP

Missy feels lucky that she has been able to spend the past 25+ years working with at risk families, as well as children involved in the juvenile delinquency system and victims who have suffered trauma due to abuse or neglect.  Missy joined the board of Yavapai CASA for Kids Foundation in 2015.   In addition to serving on the YC4KF board, Missy is a member of the Community Coordinated Response Team (CCRT) dedicated to address domestic and family violence in our communities, as well as the Yavapai County Child Abduction Response Team (CART).

Missy Sikora
President

Jennifer joined the board of Yavapai CASA for Kids Foundation in 2010 and now serves as vice president.  Jennifer was a licensed foster parent for 6 years and adopted four (4) children out of the foster care system.  She was a member of the Lincoln School PTA Board as secretary for two (2) years and treasurer for two (2) years.  She currently helps with their Character Counts program and chairs their Spring Dance.  She has a Bachelor's Degree in accounting from Northern Arizona University.

Jennifer Whittemore
Vice President

Ray Polvani is the past Superintendent of Mountain Institute JTED, located in Prescott Arizona.  Dr. Polvani was born in Meriden, Connecticut, attended local schools and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Central Connecticut State University.  He moved to Arizona after four years of teaching in Connecticut and attained an Education Specialist Degree in School Administration from Arizona State University.  Subsequently, he earned a Doctorate in Educational Administration, also from Arizona State.  He has 11 years of teaching experience, 13 years as a site administrator and 12 years as a district administrator; including 10 total years as a Superintendent.  

Ray Polvani
Recording Secretary

Yvonne Bartlett is a Prescott native and ASU graduate. For nearly 20 years she has worked for various non-profits in the Quad-cities where her area of focus has been non-profit development. She has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 2004.  Over the years, she has held positions as major gifts officer, development director and executive director.  She enjoys consulting to non-profits, working in residential real estate and volunteering her time and expertise to select non-profits she supports.

Yvonne Bartlett
Corresponding Secretary & Treasurer

David Sahady joined the Yavapai Casa for Kid’s Foundation in 2017 looking to continue support for children in foster care in our community. David has worked with children and families in a variety of roles for over 12 years, including work with children in a domestic violence shelter, independent living support for children in foster care, and a licensed counselor with children and families. Supporting children and the community are dual passions for David and the YC4K Foundation provides an excellent opportunity to help meet otherwise unmet needs. In addition to the YC4K Foundation, David also serves on the Board of Trustees for Aztlan Lodge #1 in Prescott.

David Sahady
Interim Grants for Kids Chair

Stephen Kahne is Professor Emeritus at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott where previously he was Professor of Electrical Engineering and Chancellor.  Dr. Kahne has degrees from Cornell University and the University of Illinois.  He has served on the boards of Yavapai Regional Medical Center, West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, and Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority.  Steve was a Court Appointed Special Advocate and Victim Advocate in Yavapai County. He is currently a mentor in the Juvenile Probation Office, a member of the Community Juvenile Justice Committee, on the board of Prevent Child Abuse Arizona, and a member of a Foster Care Review Board for Yavapai County.

Stephen Kahne
Pathways to Success Chair
Melissa Ward
Supplemental Clothing Card Project Chair

Meghan Hays Davis works in behavioral health with parents and young children in foster care to assure their mental health needs are met while in care and beyond. She is an Infant Mental Health Specialist with endorsement from the Infant and Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona. An Arizona native, she holds a master's degree from ASU and is a licensed social worker, with a bachelors from Minnesota State University. She has been a member of Best for Babies (Yavapai's Court Teams for Infants and Toddlers) for 11 years. Meghan also provides advanced foster parent training to caregivers and professionals in several counties including Yavapai on the Unique Needs of Infants and Toddlers in Foster Care

Meghan Hays-Davis
Board Member
Jeanne James
Board Member

Cheryl Micholofki became a volunteer with Yavapai CASA for Kids in 2016 and joined the CASA Board in 2018. Cheryl graduated from ASU and has spent most of her life in Arizona. After moving to Prescott a few years ago, she became active in CASA and believes that this fulfils her desire to help the community and children in need, which is one of her greatest passions. She has been in Banking for 19 years and is the Branch Manager for AmTrust Bank in Prescott. Cheryl also enjoys hiking, the outdoors and a special relationship with her grandchildren.

Cheryl Micholofki
Board Member

Ms. Phelan practices juvenile and family law in Yavapai County, Arizona.  Working to help children and families is her passion.  Through assisting her clients over the years, Ms. Phelan has seen firsthand the enormous benefit Yavapai CASA for Kids Foundation is to the children and families in our community.  Ms. Phelan became a Board Member in 2015 to further her belief that it truly does take a village to raise a child.  In addition to her work as an attorney, Ms. Phelan enjoys running, music, and spending time with her husband and children

Debra Phelan
Board Member

OUR STAFF