Volunteer Spotlight - June 2017

Meet Craig Grosswald of Summit,
CASA Volunteer Since April 2016

Twice a month Craig meets up with his CASA youth, a teen, and all the while stays connected with parties on the youth’s court case. A full-time partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ New York City office, Craig is the picture of someone organized, analytical and committed — and those skills fuel his CASA work: “My goal for the child is two-fold; advocate for everything he is rightful to and spend quality time together to allow him a sense of normalcy,” he says.
 
Craig gets it. Advocating for foster children requires promoting best interests, yet part of that includes everyday normalcy when possible. Craig combats the ”I’m-different-than-others” mentality often felt by children in foster care by exposing his CASA youth to experiences and everyday moments. “We like to go to the park. We’ve gone swimming at the YMCA. We also meet for dinner. He loves the Olive Garden — says it makes him feel ‘classy.’ “

It is Craig's treasured relationship with his family that motivates him to ensure his CASA youth benefits from caring connections. Craig says his family brings him the most joy, and describes his daughter and son, both in college, as successful students. He not only credits wife Marcia with that, as the trained teacher handled their children's educational careers, from summer reading to checking homework and project planning, but acknowledges a newfound appreciation for the effort it takes.

The most gratifying part of Craig’s CASA volunteer experience? “I’ve had a couple. I initially found it very difficult to build trust and ensure my CASA youth felt comfortable enough to share himself with me. But, during a recent visit, we had a very difficult conversation and he started to share some very personal situations from his past. I realized at that moment that I had his full trust.”

As for any remaining free time, Craig enjoys playing tennis and golf, and working out. Oh, and then there’s that non-fiction reading habit on the human struggle.
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