Dasha Dent PictureDasha Dent joined SCAN as a Richmond CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Case Manager in 2021. Her commitment, energy and sense of caring have been an incredible asset to the SCAN team!
How did you first get involved with SCAN?
In the spring of 2019, I was enrolled in a Field Observation Human Service Class at Old Dominion University. My professor at the time instructed us to research places that we could reach out to and ask them questions about the work they did. I reached out to SCAN and I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Mersereau. This gave me an opportunity to learn more about the incredible work that SCAN does and how much of an impact SCAN has on the community. 
What has your life/work experience been that brought you to SCAN? What is your current role?
I’ve worked with children since I was 16 years old by being a Sunday school teacher, a camp counselor and volunteering at my local elementary school. Receiving my Bachelors of Science degree with a major in Human Services and a minor in children’s rights, helped ignite the desire within me to advocate for children. One class taught me about ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) and little did I know that this knowledge would help me in the job I have today. Being a case manager with CASA has given me the opportunity to continue to advocate for children and to learn the importance of having a trauma informed lens in order to provide children and families the assistance they need. 
What inspires you to stay involved with your work at SCAN?
Every day when I come to work, I know that the work that we do for SCAN helps to make a difference in children’s lives. This is not only humbling, but it continues to remind me every day of the reason why I love the work that I do. 
Is there anything you wish other people knew about SCAN?
I hope that people see the incredible work that SCAN does and how much the staff and our volunteers care for children.  
What has been the best experience with SCAN so far?
One of the best experiences with SCAN so far is when I attended a SCAN staff meeting at the YWCA and all the staff members from the various programs were able to get together for the first time since the pandemic. I was able to hear everyone’s experiences at SCAN and the recent impacts their program had within the community. I loved hearing the stories that everyone shared and meeting the other staff members!
What are any challenges you have faced in your work with SCAN?
Transitioning from being in college and working was an adjustment. There were some learning curves that I needed to work through to help me become the case manager that I am today. What helped me was having a team of people who supported me through the learning curve and referring to the things I learned from my classes. 
Do you have any goals or hopes for the next year with SCAN?
I hope to see more children come off the waiting list and getting assigned to a volunteer. We have so many amazing volunteer opportunities and the work that we do collectively makes a difference!
Are you involved with any other community organizations, hobbies, or activities?
I love to dance and rock climb! Anything to do with thrill seeking sign me up!
What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
That I am a children’s book author. I love that books have the power to take you on an adventure and has the power to send a message of positivity to a child. This brings me joy when I am able to bring an idea to life in a form of a book and bring an impactful message into a child’s life!

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