Maren Casada Overcame Struggle to Help Others


Livi Foraker, Reporter

Not all superheroes wear capes, and Alumni Maren Casada (formerly Loeblein) is a fine example of this. Working as a Victim’s Advocate–supporting those who suffered violent crimes and even sitting by them on the witness stand as emotional support–Casada still finds time to fulfill her joy of “adrenaline junkie” type activities.

At the age of just seventeen, Casada joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and worked mainly as an air traffic controller. After five years, she decided that the military life was not for her after an un-recoursed sexual assault incident, so she took up a career as a Victim’s Advocate — a professional who provides for and consoles victims of violent crimes. 

She said, “I pursued Victim Advocacy because I was sexually assaulted in the military and had no recourse. I was broken. Being a victim advocate taught me ways to heal myself but also allowed me to help others.”

Casada detailed the endeavours of this career. 

“Victim advocacy is HARD,” she said. “It’s emotionally draining. There are times it’s boring and all you’re doing is waiting around for court to get started, or you’re waiting for phone calls, or you’re just waiting…. I love my career, though. Helping victims of violent crime get through some of the hardest days of their lives is extremely rewarding.”

Casada also said that her services as a Victim’s Advocate include paying for medical bills resulting from the attack, residential relocation, and assistance for the wellbeing of an individual’s mental health. 

While Casada has a steady career presently, her high school performance didn’t exactly reflect the success she displays now.

Casada said that she wasn’t much of a student in high school. She elaborated and said that “I didn’t get good grades and only ran track my sophomore year.” But she did thank her English teachers Marlene Manifold and the late Rita Sebring for bringing “vibrance and enthusiasm to her classes” and encouraging her to keep writing. She graduated in 1999. 

As a result of her own performance in high school, Casada has given advice to current students.  “First, watch your grades! It stinks trying to get into college in life when it would’ve been better to go while I was younger and didn’t have the responsibilities I have,” she said, speaking of how she entered the military promptly after graduation instead of pursuing direct secondary education. 

When she’s not on the stand with the victims, Casada enjoys reading, visiting the beach, skydiving, ziplining, and kayaking. 

She revealed her plans to participate in a skydiving event in December out of La Jolla, California. Casada said that “this will be my first jump that is over the ocean–I’ll be landing on land, though.”

She is planning on indulging in these pastimes when not being a hero–capeless as she may be–and supporting victims in the daunting stands of court.