Because every child
Peggy Grauwiler, LCSW-R, PhD, Executive Director. Dr. Grauwiler rejoined CASA in October 2008 (having served as Deputy Director from 2001-2003), as part of CASA’s succession planning strategy. Prior to her return, she was part of the founding team responsible for creating New York University’s Center on Violence and Recovery, where she served as Director of Center Projects from 2003-2008. Earlier work focused on the development of domestic violence courts and programs within the criminal justice and child welfare systems in New York City. In 1996, in partnership with New York State Chief Justice Judith Kaye, the Center for Court Innovation and Safe Horizons, she directed the first felony-level dedicated domestic violence court in Kings County. This pilot program’s success led to the creation of the New York Domestic Violence Court Model, which was replicated statewide and received a Ford Foundation Innovations in American Government Award in 1998. She has provided individual and group treatment to abused women, youth and children, clinical supervision to social workers, and provided domestic violence training nationally for judges, court personnel, clinicians and victim advocates. Her written work has appeared in the Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, and Public Health Reports. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work from New York University, an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Art History from Hunter College.
Lakeisha Capois, LMSW, Bronx Borough Coordinator. Lakeisha joined CASA in August 2011. She received her M.S.W. from Lehman College in 2009, and also holds a B.S.W. in Social Work from Lehman College. She was a student intern with CASA during the 2008/2009 academic year and has also interned at Montefiore Medical Center, in the Bronx, New York.
Liz Maiorino, LMSW, Brooklyn Borough Coordinator. Liz received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2004. She spent several years working with children and adults with varying disabilities before going on to pursue her M.S.W. at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work in May 2007. Liz worked as a caseworker for families with medically fragile children before joining CASA in 2010.
Kate Martin, Esq., Volunteer Coordinator. Kate received her B.A. from Boston College in 2002, and her J.D. from The University of Connecticut School of Law in 2007. Before joining CASA in 2012, Kate served as an attorney and guardian ad litem for hundreds of children in the foster care system in Chicago, IL. There, she represented abused and neglected children in and out of court, and advocated for permanency and services that this population was entitled to under the law. Previously, Kate interned with the Center for Children’s Advocacy, a child advocacy non-profit that represented children who were abused or neglected in the Hartford area. Additionally, she clerked for Federal District Court Judge, Alfred V. Covello.
Michaele McIlnay, LCSW, Queens/Manhattan/Staten Island, Borough Coordinator. Michaele received her M.S.W. from Columbia University in May 2004, and B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining CASA in June 2011, Michaele’s professional work focused on substance abuse and recovery. As a graduate student she interned at the Manhattan Treatment Family Court and James Lenox House in New York City.
Rachel Schimmel, LMSW, Volunteer Coordinator. Rachel received her M.S.W. from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2012. Prior to joining CASA-NYC in 2013 Rachel worked with children and families as a social worker and special education coordinator at a Head Start program in NY. She began her career working with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as a placement coordinator in Louisville, KY.
Natalie G. Pizzolla, LMSW, Brooklyn Advocate Supervisor. Natalie joined the CASA staff in 2013 after graduating from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. Natalie worked as a caseworker from 2011-2011 before going on to pursue her M.S.W. at the Silberman School of Social Work in May 2011. Prior to joining CASA, she also worked for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York City (VNS) as a Social Work Assistant in the Home Based Crisis Intervention program serving children and families in crisis. As a graduate student she interned at VNS in an outpatient clinic serving children and families.
Rebecca Roberts, Development Assistant and Office Manager. Rebecca completed her B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from San Francisco State University in 2009. Prior to joining CASA-NYC, she was employed at San Francisco CASA and also served as a CASA advocate/mentor. She began her career raising funds for homeless youth and has been working with children for over a decade.
Elizabeth S. Van Horn, MSW, Bronx Advocate Supervisor. Elizabeth joined the full-time CASA staff after graduating from Columbia University School of Social Work in May of 2013. She interned at CASA for the 2012/2013 academic year. Prior to CASA, Elizabeth interned in a Head Start program and worked with college students as a resident assistant. She also holds a B.A. in Sociology & Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University.
Rachel White, J.D., Brooklyn Advocate Supervisor. Rachel joined the full-time CASA staff in 2013. She received her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law and also holds a B.S.W. in Social Work from Winston Salem State University. Rachel served as guardian ad litem in North Carolina from 2009-2012. She has also acted as advocate and legal intern in several agencies serving children and adults.
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