SAN DIEGO, CA—Walden Family Services is proud to welcome Jackie Helm to its Board of Directors. Helm joins three other new board members—Breanna M. Gooch, Amber Lopez Gamble and Janine Taylor—who will serve a three-year term alongside a cross section of Southern California community leaders who oversee and support Walden’s operations, strategy, and vision.

“These new members will truly help Walden in its mission to further the interests of children and youth in foster care and to expand our capacity to deliver nationally-accredited programs and services to these kids and their families,” said Walden CEO Teresa Stivers. “They’ve already hit the ground running and we’re thrilled to be working with them.”

Jackie Helm is a graduate of UCSD and has been a real estate professional for more than 30 years, presently with Gallery Properties in San Diego. In addition to a wealth of professional experience, Helm has a rich background in philanthropy, nonprofit governance and fundraising. In recent years she’s served as Chair of the Las Patronas Jewel Ball; on the board of National Charity League and the National Cheers Foundation; on the Concours D’Elegance; and as president of the Foundation of La Jolla High School.

Helm is also the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of a child in foster care through San Diego-based Voices for Children, so she has firsthand experience with the foster care system. She considers herself lucky to be part of her CASA-kid’s journey toward finding a permanent placement. “Being a CASA was one of the most profoundly moving experiences I’ve ever had,” said Helm. “It was simultaneously hugely joyous and tremendously heartbreaking. My little one showed me the power of love and strength beyond her years.”

“Jackie’s experience as a CASA is a great resource for us,” continued Stivers. “Having worked one-on-one with a child in foster care gives her a singular viewpoint into how important our work is, and how our services and advocacy can affect these children’s lives. We’re looking forward to the great work we’ll do together.”