WHO WE ARE
In 2010, Castilleja received a bequest from alumnae parent and former Trustee, Bill Halford, that was used to found the Halford Young Women Leaders' Program (HYWLP). Based on a well-established curriculum developed at the University of Virginia, the program connects motivated 4th and 5th grade girls from local under-resourced communities and Castilleja Upper School students through a year-long mentoring curriculum.
WHAT WE DO
Big Sister Testimonials
The Halford little sisters have taught me how to be a better person in the world around me. The constant support and dedication to each other is very important to both little and big sisters, which is something very special."
––Emily '20, Halford Big Sister
To me, Halford is learning from our little sisters the same way they learn from us. Watching them grow inspires me to be more like them."
--Ari '21, Halford Big Sisters
The Halford Program enables the Castilleja and BFN girls to grow together. Even though I am the “big sister,” the Halford girls have taught me more than I could probably ever do for them. They have reminded me the power of a hug, the excitement that comes from a new activity, and the joy of laughing often. Each of the girls is strong, smart, kind, and thoughtful, and I hope I can help them nurture these qualities!
––Molly '16, Halford Big Sister
Getting to know Jayla has been transformative. Jayla’s passion is fiery. I saw it firsthand when we analyzed sexist advertisements; Jayla was outraged at the portrayal of women in the media. It’s that kind of attitude -- that willingness to combat injustice in all its forms -- that makes me admire Jayla endlessly. I think one of Halford’s main goals is to instill that determination in all its participants, Big and Little Sisters alike. At least, that’s one of the primary ways that Halford has affected me. I feel better prepared to confront issues I see in the world, and that strength is inspired by the Little Sisters.
-- Maddie '17, Halford Big Sister
While Halford is technically a “teaching” experience in which we mentor the girls, it has in the end taught me so much more than I could’ve asked for. It has taught me the importance of friendship, that having a solid group of people around you who are there to build you up and push you to be the best version of yourself is something no one should live without. Most significantly, Halford has taught me how important it is for young girls to have people in their life to tell them that they are smart and capable, that they are funny, that they can do any job, and that their opinions matter.
--Rory '18, Halford Big Sister