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Meet Sarah Johnson, our Executive Director

I come from a long line of compassionate community helpers. My mother is a retired nurse, as are both my grandmothers and my mother-in-law. Three of my grandparents served in the military. My grandfather's story of serving in the Navy during World War II has always inspired me to do more for those in need. He was stationed on the USS Wilks-Barre in the South Pacific and was deeply impacted by the poverty and homelessness he witnessed while their cruiser was docked at various islands throughout his tour. When he returned home at the age of 20, he and his parents started a small soup kitchen out of their Salem home. Anytime my grandpa crossed paths with someone in need, he would invite them home for a hot meal and family fellowship. Eventually the locals knew if they needed a meal or a friend, the Brown family always had an extra plate set for them.

Growing up surrounded by helpers, community and compassion deeply shape who I am. My background is in education, specifically working with neurodivergent children and youth, and youth identified as at-risk for failure to graduate high school.  In addition, I was previously a CNA in Washington, and studied nursing, microbiology, and laboratory science at the University of Idaho before moving to Oregon. I hold a BS in Human Development and Family Science, with a focus on Family Violence, from Oregon State University with a minor in Public Health.

I have also had the gift of raising two amazing young people, both currently on the threshold of adulthood, and I am proud to see them grow in their desire to help too. I believe in the power of community, of helping each other achieve great things through mutual respect and support. I believe in keeping families together whenever possible

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while also ensuring the most vulnerable members of the family, the children, have the ability to feel safe, loved, and to thrive.

The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Program is one of the most powerful platforms for children’s voices to be heard in the court system and I am so proud to have the opportunity to serve our volunteers and community. My vision for the Yamhill County CASA is to serve 100% of children in care in Yamhill County by 2027- meeting the need with passionate well-trained advocates dedicated to their work and to the mission of Yamhill County CASA.

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