PHOENIX – The Matthew 19:14 Project., a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide Catholic schools in Arizona with the funding, support and resources they need to properly accommodate and serve students with special needs, is excited to announce that Kailey Gahan will be joining the nonprofit as the Development Coordinator.
“It was as if Kailey was trained all her life for this position with The Matthew 19:14 Project,” said Dr. Lisa Fischer, Founder and Board President. “Her love and passion for people with disabilities was apparent to me. These are the qualities that cannot be taught. We’re excited to have her on board!”
Gahan grew up volunteering alongside her family at the Emmaus Retreat for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. During each retreat, a priest is invited to the camp to celebrate the Mass with the group. Frequently during the Mass, she saw participants’ immense faith become apparent through their active participation with their eagerness to read, or their desire to act as an altar server. Gahan recalls that in these moments, she could see that all are truly one body in Christ.
“The love, intelligence, and incredible faith of the participants left me in awe,” said Gahan. “How could someone not want to do everything they can to support and educate these amazing humans? Their faith was the same as my own and, often, they reminded me of just how incredible it is to be able to celebrate our faith openly and with each other. Our differences make us perfect in the eyes of God.”
After attending and working at Catholic schools throughout her life, Gahan is looking forward to applying her experience to further the mission of The Matthew 19:14 Project.
“I am most excited to further support The Matthew 19:14 Project and its mission,” said Gahan. “Inclusion of all students in our Catholic schools is vital for our community and our mission as Catholics. I am really looking forward to furthering the growth and impact that The Matthew 19:14 Project has already demonstrated, and I am honored to be part of this journey.”
Gahan is an Arizona native and attended Catholic schools from preschool through college. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Benedictine University in Mesa and continued on to earn her master’s in education – School Counseling from Ottawa University. Prior to joining The Matthew 19:14 Project, Gahan was a school counselor at one of the Diocesan schools in Phoenix. She has been an active member with the Diocese of Phoenix throughout her life, spending many hours helping at her local parish and working with Blessed Sacrament on The Emmaus Retreat for Disabled Adults. Outside of her service to our community, she and her husband, Garrett, enjoy traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
The Matthew 19:14 Project was established in 2014 by Dr. Lisa Fischer and has served elementary and high schools in both dioceses of Phoenix and Tucson. Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of The Matthew 19:14 Project.
As the organization looks towards its second decade, Dr. Lisa Fischer remarked that the hiring of Gahan is timely, “She is the face of our future, bringing in a new generation of energy and creativity which will hopefully be a greater and lasting impact for Catholic students with exceptional learning needs.”
To learn more about The Matthew 19:14 Project, visit https://matthew1914project.org.