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AFP GAC Member Highlight

Angela Castilleja
Angela Castilleja
Texas Youth and Government State Director and Director of Grants and Foundation Relations
YMCA of Austin


Current role and position:

I’ve been with the YMCA almost six years and I’ve been serving in dual roles since August 2021. Currently, I am the Texas Youth and Government and State Director as well as the Director of Grants and Foundation Relations.

I decided to apply for the Director of Grants and Foundation Relations because I was feeling a disconnect with our own community and local YMCA. I wanted to support our local YMCA, also love telling the story. However, when the pandemic hit, I ended up serving in both roles. 

One thing I’m looking forward to as the Director of Grants and Foundation Relations is doing a lot more prospecting and tracking.


Getting involved with AFP GAC and the Legislative Affairs Day (LAD) Committee:

I transitioned to nonprofits over 15 years ago. I started out working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and got engaged with AFP at that time – then fell off with AFP for a while as I got busy with work.

Last year, when I transitioned to my new role I went to Philanthropy Day 2020 and ran into a few colleagues. One colleague that I had worked with at the Young Women’s Association connected me with Catherine Herter Ervin (AFP GAC's current Director of Legislative Affairs) after I told her what I was doing with advocacy and youth engagement. Catherine and I hit it off and I talked to her a little more about what I was doing and last September I was able to do a presentation on Advocacy 101 with the LAD Committee. Since then, I have continued to work on the committee and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to lend any expertise and knowledge on the subject. 

I also applied for a scholarship with AFP and was able to get that – I was really appreciative.


Thoughts on the virtual experience of the 2021 Legislative Action Day:

I’ve not participated in the in-person event, but I’m looking forward to it. 

I did feel that lots of participants enjoyed it. I was able to bring someone in from the Houston YMCA since it was virtual, so that was a good experience.


Favorite thing about this year’s Legislative Action Day:

My favorite thing was being a thought partner in helping plan the event. That was really just a great opportunity to engage with other colleagues. In my Youth and Government role with the YMCA this is what I do and I like that aspect of trying to create a great experience and making it worth the time and energy to learn something new.


Joining other AFP Committees in the future:

I’ll probably stay on the LAD Committee - I’ve enjoyed working with this committee, so I’d like to see what the off year looks like.



About the Interviewer:

Sydney Smith
AFP Austin Communications Committee Member
Grants Coordinator, Caritas of Austin
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