Calvin is an “ex-officio” member of the board of directors. In that capacity, he advises Safe Passage and participates in board discussions, sharing his firsthand knowledge of the system, how it can affect children and families, and how he helps them navigate that system. Calvin was born in Arkansas, moving at a very young age to Wisconsin and, ultimately, Minnesota. From ages one to 12, he was in the foster care system. He began his career as a substitute teacher in Minneapolis public schools, and later held a managerial position with AT&T until becoming one of many managers to lose their positions as part of a corporate downsizing. In the meantime, he became involved with the child protection system as a volunteer guardian ad litem with Hennepin County. That later led to a contract position as a guardian ad litem and, eventually, to working in that position full time. He has been a full-time guardian ad litem for seven years. Calvin says that, in his role, he is responsible for making recommendations to the court as to what is in the child’s best interests. In fulfilling that role, he has no “agenda,” whether in favor of parents, the court or any other parties to a child protection case. He is an officer of the court, given the room needed to gather the facts about a case and bring those facts – and his recommendations – to the family court judge. Calvin enjoys his current work because it gives him the opportunity to have a genuine impact on the lives of children who are subject to family courts and the child protection system. Guardians ad litem, he says, can help end the “downward spiral” that can trap victims of child abuse and neglect.