As advisory board chairman of Theta’s Gamma Iota Chapter at the University of Kentucky and a CASA of Lexington board member, Jillian Mathias Kyde is passionate about the relationship between Theta and National CASA/GAL. She says she cannot take credit for the number of Kentucky Thetas who become CASA volunteers, intern at a local CASA program office or fundraise and volunteer at events. However, she believes she and other alumnae can play a key role in educating collegians about the CASA/GAL mission and serving as leadership examples.
“I help make sure CASA is just not an acronym the chapter women use during recruitment but rather something they can speak passionately about year-round because they have seen firsthand what the CASA program does in our community.”
Jillian is also passionate about bringing creativity to every detail of the events she plans for CASA of Lexington with the goal of “getting people to leave an event thinking, ‘Wow, that was a fun and unforgettable experience, but better yet, tonight we actually made a difference.’”
The program’s signature event, Bourbon and the Bayou, raised more than $200,000 in 2020. “It was a magical evening and experience,” Jillian says, “knowing that over 200 children will have advocates because of the effort poured into the event.”
It is unsurprising that Jillian’s relationship with CASA/GAL programs began when she served as community service chairman at Theta’s Eta Iota Chapter at the University of San Diego. “I would not know what National CASA/GAL is without Theta. These are two organizations that grow people to their fullest potential in incredibly important developmental years.”
“To think this hero, this CASA volunteer, is merely a person like you or me—a volunteer who wants to make a difference—is something powerful.”