“People always told me that when you find your passion, you’ll know it and I absolutely love political science. I never thought I would get into something like political science, but it was about changing my own expectations.”
Gabriela Castillo didn’t know it at the time, but coming to Cosumnes River College would change her life, her outlook and her educational path.
“When I first came to CRC, honestly I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew for a fact that I wanted to go to college,” Castillo said. “That has always been my dream since I was little.”
The first in her family to go to college, Castillo says her biggest struggle has been finding the balance between family obligations and the obligations to herself.
“No one really thought I would go to college, I’ve had to figure it out on my own, but I have two younger sisters and I hope college will be real for them,” she said.
Castillo started as a communications major figuring she could get a job easily with it, but after finishing all her classes and getting ready to transfer, she had one semester where she had no obligations, so instead of working, she signed up for another class. She took comparative politics with Political Science Professor Martin Morales.
“I was so intimidated in the class because Professor Morales has very high expectations for his students, but I feel people do better when more is expected of them, so I was even more motivated to do well,” Castillo said.
Morales said Castillo was one of those students that tried hard in his classes.
“Gabi immediately stood out to me in class and I wanted her to contribute,” said Morales. “She rose to the occasion and now leaves us for UCLA with a full scholarship. The road for Gabi was never easy but her dedication to her studies proves that everyone can push themselves to succeed. We’re very proud of her.”
Taking this class changed Castillo’s educational path. She went from a communications major to a political science major and began taking more classes, ignoring an acceptance letter from University of Southern California.
“People always told me that when you find your passion, you’ll know it and I absolutely love political science,” she said. “I never thought I would get into something like political science, but it was about changing my own expectations.”
Castillo is now on her way to University of California, Los Angeles and after getting a bachelor’s degree wants to go to Harvard Law School.
“I want to make an impact on the globalization process and although we have a good foundation in the immigration system, I want to be a part of the process that changes international law,” she added. “I like the idea of being a part of the transition for us and the world as a whole. People are so interconnected and it’s impossible to believe that this globalization is ever going to stop or slow down.”
Finding her passion, Castillo says she has finally found something that excites her and gives her the opportunity to help others.
“It’s all about perspective. My path might change again, but I’ll be ready for it,” she said. “That is what CRC did for me. I am self-confident in my abilities now and am very proud of where I came from and where I’m going. I know my family is proud of me, too and I am excited about the possibilities the future holds.”