Kelly Conway `90 always felt grateful for the opportunity to learn at Castilleja, and she knows this would not have been possible without tuition assistance, “My parents both highly valued education, but going to Castilleja would have been out of reach for me without tuition assistance. I don’t think that cost should prevent qualified and capable girls from benefiting from the same opportunity I had.” She left college and law school with loans, so she was not able to begin giving back right away, but she has never forgotten about the impact that Castilleja had on who she has become. She recently named Castilleja in her estate with specific support to Tuition Assistance.
At Castilleja, supporting students’ needs reaches beyond tuition to include other expenses, such as books, uniforms, technology, and school trips. Because of this holistic approach, Kelly received a grant from Castilleja to join Peggy McKee’s trip to the Soviet Union. “I can draw a direct line from that trip forward through my life,” Kelly explained. “In college, I double majored in Diplomacy and World Affairs and History, with a focus on Russia. Studying the collapse of the Soviet Union was central to my senior thesis and that work inspired me to go on to law school.”
Now, she sees giving back to Castilleja as an opportunity to become an agent for change, “Look around. We need strong women leaders now more than ever. Education is an irreplaceable gift. It can never be taken away, and it benefits more than just the student who receives the gift; it benefits society as a whole.”
When asked whether she had any advice for current students, she said, “Don’t just sit back and trust that things will be okay. Be an active participant in a better future.” Kelly is doing just that; her gifts to Castilleja will contribute to a better future for students who otherwise might not have access to this unique education.