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

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
Treasurer

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 has spent the last 30 years working with youth and families at risk of child abuse and neglect, working at the Department of Child Safety for 25 years.  Of the 25 years spent working at DCS Melissa has supervised numerous staff and departments, including investigations, in home and adoptions. She has also spend time working in the policy unit, updating and writing agency policy. Melissa has worked in partnership with local agencies to bring trainings and conferences to the Northern Region. Melissa joined the Yavapai CASA for Kids Foundation as a board member in Aug. 2017.  Melissa chairs the supplemental clothing card project which provides gift cards, twice a year, to dependent youth and youth enrolled in the IL program to be used for clothing. Melissa is currently the foundation’s board secretary. Melissa has a B.A. in Communications from ASU, a Master in Education from NAU and is a Certified Public Manager from ASU. Melissa is also a Food Neighbors Coordinator in Prescott and works with Patchwork, the Heights Church support group for foster care, adoption and kinship placements

Melissa Ward
Secretary & Supplemental Clothing 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
Family Visitation Chair
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
Grants Chair

Tami Miller joined the board in 2017.  She grew up n Southern California and has resided in the Prescott area since 2005.  Her career has been in the Accounting and Technology field.  She, as a Consultant for MAS 500 software, was responsible for setting up high end accounting software in large companies from server/desktop installation, module set up for each department, and training.  Prior to that she worked in QA as an Integration Specialist as well as Customer Service and Office Management prior.  She has one beautiful daughter and granddaughter who are treasured gifts from God.  She has very involved in her community and volunteering for many events, including Hopefest AZ and Yavapai CASA for Kids Foundation the since 2014  Tami offers a unique addition to our foundation because, she, herself, was a foster child from age 12 to 18.  This gives her the unique ability to truly understand the hurdles and stresses that com along with being a foster child.

Tami Miller
Grants for Kids Chair

Bryon Ackerman joined the board in 2019 and serves on the Pathways Committee. He is motivated to serve the Prescott community through his work on the board and views providing youth with the tools and resources necessary to develop into productive and self-sufficient adults as instrumental in sustaining a functional society. Mr. Ackerman is an attorney who centers his practice in Yavapai County. His experience in the law gives him a general understanding of the legal system and the ability to interpret legislation affecting foster children.

Bryon Ackerman
Board Member

OUR STAFF