Every January is National Mentoring Month. Child Advocates of Silicon Valley would like to acknowledge the astonishing Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer, Partha Dey, for always being a mentor for our foster youth.
January Advocate Spotlight: Partha Dey, CASA Volunteer
Years of service with Child Advocates of Silicon Valley: 1 Year
Number of children served: 2 total
Having grown up in India in the early parts of his life and moving to the Bay Area as a recent grad student, Partha Dey identifies as a “global citizen”. He lives by the mantra of supporting one another. Professionally, Partha currently works for a robotics company that pioneers robotic-assisted surgery and minimizes invasive care. Partha’s vast knowledge and drive to help others extends past his profession. For years, Partha and his wife have personally given back to underserved communities in India and, with their skills and time, have supported numerous youth-related initiatives and educational projects.
However, when Partha and his wife decided to extend their family, they had to put their volunteering efforts on pause. One day, Partha caught up with an old friend from Princeton who happened to tell Partha about a volunteer opportunity they had heard of called the CASA Program. Intrigued and a huge believer in paying it forward, Partha made it his New Year’s Resolution to become a CASA Volunteer and directly impact a youth one-on-one.
“Doing this work has broadened my vision and helped with other aspects of my life, such as family and work.” – Partha Dey
As a CASA Volunteer, Partha’s goal is to strengthen the bond with his youths by going on weekly in-person visits and doing activities. As their mentor, Partha always tries to suggest more thoughtful activities like work-site visits and helping his youths explore different educational and social avenues. Partha also tries to give an olive branch as best as he can to their caregivers to show that he is there for them, that they are a team doing whatever it takes to be there for their youth.
“Sometimes the context of the situation is understanding the needs through the lens of the protagonist, and the protagonist in this scenario is the youth.” – Partha Dey.
One of Partha’s fondest memories as a CASA was when he took one of his youth and their foster parents to his workplace, enlightening them about the benefits of minimally invasive robotic surgeries, and gave his youth hands-on experience testing out the robots. This experience helped his youth realize they had a passion for STEM. Another great moment was when Partha recently took his youth to the teen Holiday Party where they spent quality time together, hanging out and doing activities.
“Humans are social beings, and one of the things being a CASA has taught me is that one-on-one relationships and investing into their life, adding value to their lives, is a direct result of volunteering.” – Partha Dey
For Partha, the entire CASA journey was about self-discovery. Volunteering was encapsulated through the amazing training by the CASA staff. Partha also wants to personally shout out his CASA Supervisor, Bryant Chao, for exceeding expectations and supporting him throughout his advocacy journey.
“I felt that the CASA Program was a very hands-on experience, and being a CASA Volunteer is such a hugely integral part of a child’s life and helps shape their perspective. It’s truly the journey that matters.” – Partha Dey
As Partha reflects on his CASA journey, one characteristic that Partha wants to strengthen is patience and teamwork. Building a functional relationship between the caregiver and the youth is equally important, as the caregiver can help build a bridge between him and the youth. As a CASA, Partha can hit the ground running but then face challenges and “curveballs” along the way. The support available to him from Child Advocates staff, CASA mentors, caregivers and other resources, strengthen his ability to be a great CASA Volunteer.
“The 360 approach to help your youth solve a plethora of problems is a work of patience, building and understanding different perspectives and insight and solving situations together is truly a team effort.” – Partha Dey
Fun Facts About Partha:
TV show currently having as background noise: The tv show that Partha regularly puts on as background noise when working from home is New Amsterdam (first two seasons are available on Netflix). New Amsterdam, a tv show adapted from a book, is a hospital drama with “5 ounces of romance” and “3 ounces of medical terms”, but with tons of tear-jerking moments.
Must-watch movie: Partha is an international movie buff who thinks that 80’s-90’s Iranian movies are just phenomenal, which is why he recommends Children of Heaven.
Podcasts that he can’t stop listening to: A podcast that Partha listens to daily is This American Life Podcast. He also enjoys listening to a science podcast with his kids called Short Wave, which is made really well for both children and adults.
Favorite cuisine and dishes: Hands down, Partha swears that Indian and Asian cuisine, in general, is top-tier. Partha can have ramen, pho or beef soup noodles every day of the week.
Favorite place he traveled to: Istanbul is Partha’s favorite country that he’s traveled to. Istanbul had the perfect vibe and blended between Middle Eastern and Western European culture, great food, and amazing people.
Favorite hobbies: Partha enjoys reading and doing street and astrophotography (below) in his free time.
Support Foster Youth Today
This month, you can give gratitude by giving back and SHOW UP for our foster youth. Here are the many ways you can help:
- Invest in our foster youth by making a financial donation to support our CASA Program and the children we serve. View if your company offers a company match on Double the Donation.
- Become a Corporate Champion by sponsoring our fundraising events or one of the many activities we host for the children we serve. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how your company can be a part of the solution for foster kids.
- You can shop for specific items that our foster kids need, such as toys, school supplies, clothing, toiletries and more, by visiting our Amazon Charity List.