APF has some of the best Board Members around, and each newsletter, we like to take a moment to check in with each one and learn more about the work they’re involved in outside of APF and how it’s shaped their passion for APF’s mission. This time, we caught up with Craig Vaream, Senior Advisor at McKinsey & Company and Board Member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Craig’s journey with APF began from a financial perspective, where he initially assisted in setting up bank accounts. This involvement led to him guiding APF on audit set up and proper procedures for auditing, sealing his spot on the APF Board.
Driven by his passion for mental health and the need for equal access to support services, Craig was inspired to join the Board of Directors. He recognizes that mental health is a critical issue in today’s world, affecting individuals across various backgrounds. Understanding the importance of leveling the playing field, Craig was driven to contribute to the cause by providing opportunities for those who lack access to both mental health services, and careers in the field.
One aspect of APFs mission that resonates strongly with Craig is its focus on working wit school children. As a type 1 diabetic, Craig understands the challenges faced by young individuals managing their mental health while dealing with a chronic condition. He has been actively involved in speaking engagements for young diabetic children, where he has witnessed firsthand the mental health issues they encounter due to feeling different from others. Recognizing the critical role early intervention plays, Craig believes in empowering children to live fulfilling lives and reaching their maximum potential.
When asked about APF’s unique qualities, Craig highlighted the organization’s hands-on approach and close connection with the end-users. Unlike other organizations where impact is less transparent, APF operates at the grassroots level, directly touching the lives of individuals and witnessing the profound impact firsthand. Craig appreciates being part of an organization that provides tangible support and makes a positive difference in the lives of those it serves.
Looking toward the future, Craig finds immense excitement in the potential impact that APF can have on people’s mental health – he envisions a world where the organization’s efforts save lives by equipping individuals with tools to manage and cope with stress and anxiety effectively. Acknowledging the ripple effect of positive change, Craig recognizes that one person’s transformation can inspire and influence others, creating a profound and far-reaching impact.
Craig’s own life experiences have played a significant role in shaping his dedication to making a difference. Reflecting on his career, two pivotal moments stood out to him. His work in banking, specifically managing programs related to those living on food stamps and unemployment insurance, allowed him to directly impact and improve the lives of individuals in need. These experiences ignited a passion for meaningful work and propelled him on a path where he could have a positive impact on others.
Further, Craig’s personal journey as a type 1 diabetic led him to accomplish extraordinary feats. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and running the New York City Marathon in the same year to commemorate living with diabetes for a quarter century, Craig aimed to prove to himself, and the disease, that he was capable of overcoming any obstacle. His perseverance and determination inspired him to share his story with young diabetics, empowering them to believe in their own potential. Craig’s personal motto is “the best is yet to come” and hopes his efforts allow others to be the best version of themselves.
In terms of his strengths, Craig attributes his success to his exceptional empathy. Living with diabetes has taught him the importance of understanding and supporting others, as one can never fully comprehend the struggles someone else may be facing based on appearance alone. Craig emphasized the significance of providing both support and space when needed, having experienced the need for both in his own journey. He believes that success is not achieved alone and acknowledges the invaluable support of his loving family and friends, who have been instrumental in his accomplishments.
With gratitude for the opportunities his life has presented, Craig remains committed to giving back to organizations like APF. His empathy, combined with a deep sense of appreciation for his own circumstances, fuels his desire to contribute to initiatives that positively impact lives, no matter the scale. By embracing empathy and gratitude, Craig believes in making a meaningful difference in this world.
Craig Vaream, a dedicated and compassionate individual, continues to be an invaluable asset to the Access Psychology Foundation’s Board of Directors. With his unwavering empathy, personal experiences, and deep sense of gratitude, Craig remains committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals facing mental health challenges. His contributions to the Access Psychology Foundation and his unwavering support for its mission are truly commendable. The Access Psychology Foundation is grateful to have Craig on board, and his efforts are instrumental in creating a positive impact on the mental health landscape.