On the surface, beauty pageants and CASA/GAL programs might appear to have nothing in common. But not to Shelby Ringdahl. Being chosen Miss Missouri in 2013 gave her a national platform for bringing awareness of and a spotlight to the CASA/GAL mission. “A lot of people had never heard of National CASA/GAL, and I take great pride in the number of individuals I exposed to its mission and its incredible work.”
Since then, Shelby has been one of the 35 Faces of CASA celebrating National CASA/GAL’s 35th anniversary, a performer at the 2014 National CASA/GAL Conference, a keynote speaker and performer at the 2015 National CASA/GAL Conference and a performer and speaker at numerous Missouri CASA events and fundraisers. She has also volunteered at events, fundraisers, schools and other organizations with significant numbers of children dealing with abuse or neglect.
At each occasion, she says, “I met incredible people who have the definition of a ‘servant’s heart.’ To hear the work being done all across our nation to help our children is surreal and remarkable.”
Shelby credits Theta with igniting her passion for making a difference in the lives of others in a way she never knew she could. As collegians at the Gamma Psi Chapter at Texas Christian University, she and her sisters raised funds and volunteered for several CASA programs in Texas. “My love grew for both Theta and CASA programs because of the firsthand experience I got in both organizations.”
“I left each event more ignited and determined to continue to make a difference in the lives of children.”