Cumberland County
Guardian ad Litem Program
Be the Voice for a Child in Court

Cumberland County Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Spotlight
LaShawn Yarborough

Kelsey Gawinski
LaShawn Yarborough

My name is LaShawn Yarborough. I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. I graduated from the Baltimore City College High School in 1989. Upon my completion, I attended the National Education Center to become a Medical Assistant.

In search of a better life for my daughter and myself, at the age of 21, I joined the United States Army as a Dental Specialist and later became a Preventive Dentistry Specialist.

Serving in the military for more than 23 years protecting and serving my country, I climbed the ladder of success and achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. During my tenure, I became known as the hard-working Noncommissioned Officer who cared about people.

Primarily fulfilling duties in a multitude of dental administrative positions, I traveled the world becoming accustomed to the different customs and cultures throughout. My diverse background provided me the opportunity to receive training to become an Equal Opportunity Representative.

Upon retiring from the military, I decided to take a year break to decompress and relax, however for those who know me knew this moment wasn’t going to last long.

My official retirement date was 31 December 2015 and in January 2016, I already was thinking to myself what will the next chapter of my life contain. The first part of my life was spent in the inner city of Baltimore, the second part was serving over 23 years in the U.S. Army and now what? In January 2016, I was watching the Dr. Phil show when he mentioned being a member of CASA. Not knowing what CASA was at the time, I researched it and became instantly intrigued. In February of 2016 I began the process of becoming a GAL Volunteer.

I thought to myself, this is something I’m familiar with and have extensive experience in assisting others, therefore it’s only fitting that I use my time to assist the community which I reside. Serving, caring, and nurturing are a few characteristics I take pride in having developed over the years. When your heart is in the right place, the outcome can only be positive as you unselfishly help those in need.

Serving as a GAL volunteer since April 2016 has been very rewarding in the aspect of providing what’s in the child’s best interest. Being the constant in a foster child’s life is extremely important, the Social Workers, Case Managers, Foster Parents, and Counselors continuously change however the GAL remains constant. The relationship the GAL creates is built on the trust between two people, which is priceless. The children will open their hearts to the GAL and began to communicate in ways they will not with others who transition in and out of their lives. The children know you will ensure their needs are met and are communicated through the court system on their behalf as their voice.

Having Stacey Baker as my GAL supervisor has made my transition to becoming a GAL volunteer smooth. She is never too busy to take a moment out of her busy schedule to answer a question or provide guidance as needed. Stacey consistently communicates changes, updates, events, and additional volunteering opportunities within the GAL arena. Her focus on meeting a child’s need is prevalent in her interactions as well as the needs of her GAL volunteers.