Tilly was born in the Netherlands and came to the United States at 18 months with her mother, father, and 5 siblings. They resided in New Jersey with her Aunt and Uncle until her father obtained a job as a baker. Tilly currently is a resident of Hunlock Creek. She earned a degree in Business Administration from Mount Ida Junior College in Newton, Massachusettes. After working as an Administrative Assistant for years, Tilly was able to step out of the work force to care for her three children: two sons and a daughter. She enjoyed her motherhood role and got involved with her children's activities. She even served as Chairman for the PTO at Wyoming Valley Montessori School, where her children attended. Tilly's sons are now grown; her daughter Megan passed away in November of 2016.
As the picture emulates, Tilly has a love for horses. She is certified in PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Association), as well as CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association). She owns a stable in Pikes Creek out of which she runs her non-profit organization called Shekinah Riding Center. Shekinah provides EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) therapy for children and adults. Along with these certifications, Tilly is also certified in STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) and is involved with 'The Parent Project, Changing Destructive Adolescent Behavior.'
In 2002, Tilly's philanthropic spirit led her to care for three young boys from her church while their father recovered from heart surgery; although the boys were thriving, ultimately, the father couldn't resume caring for the boys and a the court had to intervene. Having had no ability to weigh in on what was best for the boys, Tilly was left with the desire to help other children who experience the same misfortune.
After attending a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) information session hosted at her church, Tilly knew that becoming an Advocate was a great fit. In 2015 Tilly was sworn-in and took the oath the become an Advocate. Since becoming an Advocate, Tilly has learned that most children thrive with consistent communication, a positive influence, and someone to remind them that they are believed in. Tilly has been touched and inspired by the passion of the other CASA's and is impressed with the Judge's commitment to the children of Luzerne County.
Tilly's advice to other Advocates is to consciously listen. Most of the children who need an Advocate have experienced a lot of negativity and don't feel worthy. They need someone to hear them out, believe in them, show them that they are worthy of care and compassion. In closing, Tilly offered, "I think it's important to find out what they want to do and help them achieve their own goals, not goals others have for them." In just two years, Tilly's nurturing personality and fun spirits have already helped children in Luzerne County. CASA of Luzerne county is thankful to have her as a voice for abused and neglected children within the Community.
We are proud to announce that Tilly will be hosting a Therapeutic Horsemanship event on October 13th. Please see the flyer below and note the reservations are required.