Meet Andrea “Andi” (Smith) Stilwell. Andrea is a graduate of Central Catholic, Class of 1999. After graduating from CC, she attended Ball State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Public Relations. She continued her education at Indiana University where she received a Master’s of Public Affairs with a concentration in Nonprofit Management and Policy Analysis. Her career in the nonprofit world began while studying at IU working as a case manager assistant for Big Brothers Big Sisters. She became the Director of Operations at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Bloomington then moved to Indianapolis to continue working as an Individual Gifts Officer. In 2009, Andrea moved to Nashville to work for Bank of America where her responsibilities included delivering the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility and other initiatives across 3 states. She became the Chief Officer of Education for Interfaith Dental Clinic in 2014 and is helping to lead Interfaith Education Center for Community Dental Care’s initiative within the clinics.
Andrea follows her passion for volunteering and giving back outside of work as well. She is an active volunteer with many nonprofits in Nashville, is a member of Junior League, and reads to children weekly through the PENCIL Foundation. In 2011, she married her husband, Cody, who is also a native Hoosier. He is a Purdue graduate in Mechanical Engineering and currently works at Electrolux. Together they enjoy scuba diving, spending time with friends and family, listening to live music, and cheering on their favorite football teams and Nashville Predators hockey team. They love everything that Nashville has to offer and are proud to call the Music City home.
How did your education at the Lafayette Catholic Schools prepare you for college and your career?
There are almost too many to list! The study skills and high academic standards were vital for college and graduate school. I felt very well-prepared for my collegiate courses from the exceptional teachers throughout my time as an LCSS student. I’d say the strongest preparations extended far beyond academics. The strong focus on service and love of neighbor was stressed at all levels, and it was modeled at home too. Those values in school and within my family have instilled a strong foundation for how I strive to live my life – both personally and professionally. The small class sizes and having faculty and staff who TRULY knew us and TRULY cared helped foster a belief and confidence that I could do anything I set my mind to – with hard work and perseverance. Although I didn’t fully realize it at the time, I see now what a blessing that was to have so many caring adults supporting and encouraging me to achieve my full potential.
What did you like most about your experience at LCSS?
The true sense of community! The small class sizes allowed classmates and our families to really know and care for each other. When someone was hurting, others were there for support. When there was something to celebrate (like state championships!), we truly celebrated together. LCSS is like a family, and you don’t find that in all educational settings. As with any family, things weren’t perfect, but we learned and grew in community with each other.
Again – so many to count! I cheered all six years at CC, and so many wonderful memories came from being part of the team that supported our other athletic teams. From going to camp as a squad each summer, to helping decorate and celebrate for sectionals/tournament play, to being part of two state championships – we had so much fun and enjoyed boosting pride in our school community. We worked hard and played hard, and I loved it!