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Catherine Hill Foundation

President's Message

Thank you for visiting the Catherine Hill Foundation website. Catherine Hill was an extraordinary person and excellent role model! If more people followed Cathy’s example, this world would be a better place!

At the end of her life, Cathy experienced a significant spiritual awakening. She spent hours reading books, many of them outlined the journey that our souls take when we die and many of them discussed the reasons why we are here on this earth. Everyone who knew Cathy would say that she had done an “about-face” in her personality. Cathy was a feisty, intense person, always on the go, sometimes to the point of running herself ragged. However at the end of her life her demeanor had changed; she was peaceful and calm. She seemed to have a much greater understanding of life and of death

Cathy believed that everyone has a distinct purpose in life. She also believed that even though we have free will, everything happens for a reason and that everything is the way it is supposed to be. There are no coincidences or accidents in life. This is an email that Cathy sent out to all of her friends and family the night before she was killed:

St. Theresa's Prayer of Consolation

May today there be peace within. May you trust in God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing and dance. It is there for each and every one of you.

Cathy searched for many years to find her purpose. When she graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Business Management she quickly decided that a 9:00-5:00 office job was not for her. American Airlines hired her as a flight attendant. She took advantage of her flight benefits and was fortunate enough to see the world. She became an American Airlines Ambassador and traveled to Turkey where she took part in a United Nations international conference. She also traveled extensively in South America. Cathy adored the people and culture of the Spanish speaking countries. She loved their sense of family and community.

Cathy soon realized that serving drinks with a smile was not her calling in life. She began searching for something that was more meaningful and fulfilling. Half jokingly Cathy told her friends and family that she did not want to smile or serve food or drinks to anyone ever again so she was going to go into law enforcement. She traveled to Guatemala where she learned to speak fluent Spanish. She knew that learning the language would be critical for a law enforcement position in Southern California.

Cathy’s dream of being a federal law enforcement officer came true when she graduated from the Border Patrol Academy in March of 2000. Cathy was the smallest member of her class, one of only a few females and the oldest person at 35 years old.

Cathy was proud to be a United States Border Patrol Agent. She had many interesting assignments. She was sent to the Canadian border in the middle of winter and to the Arizona border in the height of summer. She told stories of working in the middle of the night, walking through the desert in unfamiliar terrain. Many people asked Cathy if she was afraid. Cathy would always roll her eyes. She was never afraid of anything.

Cathy was a very compassionate person. The poor families who tried to get into this country at any cost devastated her. She talked about Mexican women wandering through the desert with several children in tow. One story really stuck with me, she arrested a poor Mexican man who came into this country with his best dress shoes on. It was heartbreaking for her. But Cathy made it her mission to treat all of the illegal aliens and undocumented people attempting to come into this country with the utmost respect, dignity and kindness. She spoke to them in Spanish and listened to their tragic stories. She always made sure that they had food to eat and water to drink. She told me many times that she wanted to find a job that required as little hours as possible so she could spend most of her time doing volunteer work. She said she wanted to help people.

One day Cathy began to work with the Border Patrol's Explorer Scout program, which helps young men and women who are interested in a career in law enforcement. She loved working with teenagers. She felt she was truly helping them and making a difference in the world. She spent many hours after work and before work meeting with the explorers. She insisted that they do essay writing exercises and even brought me in to help her teach writing classes. She would take her explorers on hikes and would make them do push-ups if they did not use correct grammar and would give them candy if they spoke in complete sentences.

Cathy worked 50 hours per week with the Border Patrol and became the head advisor for the Border Patrol Explorers. Despite her busy schedule, Cathy decided to volunteer as an outreach counselor for an organization called StandUp For Kids. This is where Cathy realized her true purpose. She was extremely passionate about helping homeless teenagers. One of the StandUp For Kids counselors told me that there wasn’t a teenager that Cathy could not reach.

Soon Cathy realized that this was where her life was leading her. She signed up at the University Of Phoenix and was scheduled to start a master’s degree program in counseling on Monday, October 28, 2002. But this was not to be; on Friday, October 25, 2002, Senior Border Patrol Agent Catherine Mary Hill was killed while patrolling the international border. Reports from the scene stated that she was trying to position her Jeep Wrangler to get a better look at the border when she got to close to the edge and tumbled down a steep embankment into the Tijuana river valley.

Cathy would say that this was not an accident and that it was her “time to go.” You can call it twin’s intuition or something else, but I truly believe that Cathy did fulfill her purpose and part of that purpose was leaving this world so that the spotlight would shine on the problem of homeless teens and the many other issues that Cathy felt were vitally important. She would want me to get her message out to treat others with kindness and compassion and that helping others is the most important thing we can do in our life. I feel that she has passed her purpose on to me and that is why I have started the Catherine Hill Foundation to honor her memory and to raise money for the charities that were close to Cathy’s heart. Cathy had many causes that were important to her. She was very worried about the environment and she adored animals. I only hope that I can be as good a citizen, role model and person as my twin sister, Catherine Hill. Thank you for your support. Please patronize our sponsors who have stepped up and donated money or auction items to our two fundraising events, the Blue Angel Galas.

The Blue Angel Gala raised $18,000 for StandUp For Kids in San Diego in 2003, and $23,000 in 2004. Cathy told all her friends how she wanted to get a large group of people together do something good in the community and that that wish has come true as we raised $41,000. Again I want to thank you for your support.

Elizabeth Hill, President
Catherine Hill Foundation
A California Non-profit Corporation

Click here to read the eulogy by Donald J. Rooker on October 30, 2002