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Scholar Spotlight: Johanna Castillo

Rising senior at University of Iowa

Thanks to the Bright schol­ar­ship, I have been able to focus on my career goals. I have time to par­tic­i­pate in stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions, vol­un­teer and do research. Know­ing that I don’t have to work long hours has giv­en me the free­dom to try new things and focus on my studies.”

What is the most inter­est­ing thing you have done to gain expe­ri­ence in your career field?

I have been work­ing in the Col­lege of Den­tistry as a lab tech­ni­cian in the ortho­don­tic clin­ic. One of my main tasks is to make retain­ers for patients. I am so grate­ful for this oppor­tu­ni­ty. Being able to gain hands-on expe­ri­ence as an under­grad is incred­i­ble. It has giv­en me an insid­er look into the field of ortho­don­tics.

What does being a Bright Schol­ar mean to you?

Words can­not describe what being a Bright Schol­ar means to me. Know­ing that my tuition is tak­en care of lift­ed an enor­mous weight off my shoul­der. As a both a first-gen­er­a­tion stu­dent and an immi­grant, there were many unknowns when it came to time to fig­ure out col­lege, loans, FAF­SA, etc. The idea of tak­ing on loans was scary. I am so grate­ful to have been cho­sen as a Bright Schol­ar. It tru­ly is an hon­or. This schol­ar­ship has giv­en me the free­dom and peace of mind to focus on my stud­ies.

What has been your biggest chal­lenge since start­ing col­lege?

My biggest chal­lenge has been time man­age­ment. There are a lot of activ­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate in in col­lege. It is impor­tant to explore and pick a few that real­ly inter­est you. On top of activ­i­ties, you will have your school respon­si­bil­i­ties. Using a plan­ner has helped me a lot with my time man­age­ment skills.

Who is your biggest inspi­ra­tion and why? 

My par­ents are my biggest inspi­ra­tion. They have made a lot of sac­ri­fices to give my sis­ters and me many oppor­tu­ni­ties they nev­er had grow­ing up. I thank them for enforc­ing the impor­tance of hav­ing an edu­ca­tion. I am here because of them, and every­thing I do is for them.

What cam­pus activ­i­ties do you like to par­tic­i­pate in?

My friends and I always try to attend every event planned by the South Asian Stu­dent Alliance.

Thanks for get­ting to know our won­der­ful schol­ars! Stayed tuned for more spot­lights to come on our News & Events page, as well as oth­er updates!