CASA was founded as Community Against Substance Abuse in 1984 by two Los Gatos mothers, Joanne Rodgers and Jan Anderson, who were concerned about teenagers’ use of drugs and alcohol. Their intention was to teach kids that they don’t need to drink or use drugs to have a good time or to deal with troubling issues. CASA started out by organizing positive alternative activities for teens. Over its 32 year history, CASA has grown, but its present focus remains much the same.
CASA today is an alliance of parents of children from grades K-12, community organizations, schools, and local government leaders whose mission is “fostering healthy lifestyle choices that help young people resist alcohol and drugs.”
CASA monthly meetings are open for anyone to attend. During meetings, parents can hear directly from our community partners about resources and efforts geared to keeping our children safe from high risk behaviors, educational opportunities for parents, and upcoming organized teen activities. Police officers and principals share updates on events that have occurred in our schools and in town, allowing parents to ask questions and discuss current issues relating to our children. All parents are welcome to attend CASA monthly meetings where they’ll find the opportunity to network with other interested parents like themselves, and parents who are already involved in CASA.
CASA officers and volunteers develop new programs and activities annually in addition to those that currently exist. We hold alcohol and drug awareness events for middle school and older students, which also emphasize kids’ personal strengths and reasons for resisting these substances. CASA continues to sponsor fun, clean and sober social activities for teens including the annual fashion show production at the Los Gatos High School. Our programs for younger children focus on making healthy lifestyle choices, helping to build a foundation to deter hi-risk behavior in the future. CASA offers educational classes and speakers on specific topics so parents can obtain information that will help them make educated decisions while managing their children’s adolescent years.