At Castilleja, we are dedicated to educating motivated young women to become confident thinkers and compassionate leaders, a mission achieved in part through strong community partnerships.
Partnerships with nonprofits such as Ada’s Café, Rosener House, and the VA Hospital allow students to meaningfully engage with our neighbors, develop important leadership skills, and help fulfill the important needs these organizations have identified.
Raising a child with developmental disabilities, Palo Alto resident Kathleen Foley-Hughes founded Ada’s Café in 2014 to provide employment opportunities for those with special needs. To get her new venture off the ground, Kathleen needed help launching a website and building a social media presence – so she reached out to Castilleja. What started with students providing technical support has evolved into a program in which students volunteer with café employees, providing valuable support while breaking down stereotypes. Focusing on skills that include collaboration and empathy, this is now where all 6th grade students begin their leadership journey.
Palo Alto VA Hospital
A mutual meeting of the minds with the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital resulted in the start of a fruitful partnership that brings Castilleja 8th graders to lend a listening ear to patients. Veterans share their stories with a younger generation while students learn important history, strengthen critical listening skills, discover how the government supports veterans, and study innovations in the medical field. This partnership has been so successful that it was nominated for the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service American Spirit Award. Our students are grateful for the opportunity to build these relationships, practice leadership skills in curiosity and problem solving, and learn from our nation’s veterans.
Rosener House Adult Day Services
Located in nearby Menlo Park, Rosener House is a caring day center for adults living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other chronic conditions. Today, this is where some Castilleja high school students compassionately engage with adults eager for their companionship and assistance and apply leadership skills in reflection and embracing ambiguity.
We look forward to continuing partnerships with local organizations from our campus in the heart of Palo Alto, where we have been for the last 110 years.