Jonathan Castillo '02, a Brighton High School graduate whose most formative experiences include the University's College Bound and Ignacio Volunteer programs, is the winner of the 2001-02 Boston College Staff Scholarship.
The scholarship, established in 1990 by the University's Staff Advisory Senate and funded primarily through voluntary payroll deductions from BC employees, provides financial aid for qualified students. First preference is usually given to graduates of College Bound, the Lynch School of Education's campus-based college preparation initiative that grooms students from Brighton and West Roxbury high schools for success in college.
"I always knew I wanted to be 'something,' but I didn't know how to get there," said Castillo, who was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to Dorchester in 1992. "College Bound was great in that the program got me excited about college, and there was always someone from College Bound to keep me on track. It gave me so much support, especially when it came time for applications and all the forms that go into applying for college. It really guided me through the process."
Castillo earned membership to Brighton High's National Honor Society chapter and was accepted to Boston and Tufts universities as well as BC.
Last summer, Castillo embarked upon what he describes as "an amazing experience," returning to the Dominican Republic with the Ignacio Volunteer Program. He worked with seventh graders on writing, grammar and math and directed an art project where the students constructed homes out of grass, sticks, rocks and other objects in nature.
"I wanted to show these kids that they could do anything they tried. Look at where I came from and what I have done," said Castillo, who also assisted at a homeless shelter and a children's hospital.
A psychology major, Castillo has served as an international assistant, helping international students who come to study at BC. He is a member of several BC student groups, including the Organization of Latin American Affairs and the Puerto Rican Association. His off-campus activities include working in Boston-area tutoring and after school programs and volunteering at the Greater Boston Food Bank.
"I really appreciate being chosen for the BC Staff Scholarship," said Castillo, who plans to attend graduate school in the near future.
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