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An advocate for children

Oct 1, 2015

By Bobbie Stewart At 30, Jonathan Growick, ‘08, is one of the youngest and quickest advancing attorneys for the state of Florida’s Children’s Legal Services (CLS). Since being hired in 2011, he’s progressed from attorney to supervising attorney to managing attorney — overseeing state operations for the 7th judicial circuit in four counties and supervising 14 attorneys and 12 support staff.

Growick wins Flagler’s Young Alumni Achievement Award for work with Florida’s Children’s Legal Services

That success is why he was honored at this year’s Alumni Weekend with the “Young Alumni Achievement Award.”
As managing attorney he drafts petitions, court orders, motions, briefs and other legal material required to take action against individuals who abandon, abuse or neglect children.

Growick’s schedule, as one of 19 managing attorneys in the state, is tough — often packed with back-to-back meetings with case managers, volunteers, defense counsel, parents and service providers. There are days that are spent litigating in the courtroom and “on-call” nights responding to emergency calls.

“Burnout is big,” he said. “Our work as attorneys is really hard. You have to have a heart to do it, because of what you see — all the ‘bad stuff’ that’s out there. It can really take its toll, but if you love what you do, and see the purpose of what you’re doing, then you keep doing it.”

For Growick, he knew he always wanted to create positive change through the field of law, but it was when he discovered the area of family and child law that he felt he could make the most impact, in the lives of children and in the world.

Alumni Award Winners:

Professional Achievement Award
Lisa Almeida, ‘88
Owner and operator of Freedom Boat Club franchises in St. Augustine and Jacksonville. In 2014, she won “Up and Coming Entrepreneur” in the Women in Business Awards in Jacksonville. 

Flagler Service Award
Chris Bisbee, ‘83, Linda (Bevilacqua) Farber, ‘84, Rick Hodgkins, ‘85, Greg Lund, ‘85, Beth (Shaw) Masters, ‘87, Ted McLemore, ‘83, Frank O’Rourke, ‘83, and Ron Schomburger, ‘85, were all honored for 30 years of organizing Alumni Weekend’s annual Hugh Shaw Memorial Long Board Contest, which donates proceeds to the Hugh Shaw Memorial Scholarship. The event honors the memory of friend and fellow alumnus Hugh Shaw, who was killed in a car accident 32 years ago.

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