The decision to come to college is a life-changing and exciting time in one's life. For freshman Lester Castillo, the decision to come to Kean meant that he will continue to pursue a field that he is a passionate about while also having a fresh start to prove to himself that he can be an outstanding student leader.
Castillo decided to come to Kean because he was confident that it would provide him with the education he needed to succeed in the future.
For the past two years, Castillo has been a motivational speaker at schools across New Jersey and New York. At these talks, he shares his story and provides the audience with advice and motivation, and remind them to always believe in themselves. He is even a two time New Jersey state champion in public speaking. He enjoys this because it allows him to help kids and bring up their confidence.
Because of this, Castillo decided to major in communication at Kean, where he can hopefully continue to share his story at speaking engagements throughout his time at Kean and after. His dream career is to be a T.V. Broadcaster, however he also has a prospective business and finance minor in which he might use to get a job in that field.
Castillo was very excited to start his collegiate journey when coming to Kean in the fall of 2019.
He said, "Once I applied and was accepted, I knew that I wanted to do more on campus then just be a student."
Castillo stayed on the lookout for opportunities to become involved on campus. When he heard about Student Organization's Freshman Class Elections, he knew that this was the perfect opportunity for him. He applied as soon as the applications went up.
It may have been intimidating to apply for the role of president, but Castillo was confident in himself.
He said, "I knew that if I wanted to improve and be the best version of myself, I want to strive for the highest I could ever get."
He continued, "So even if I didn’t get the position, I would have still been happy with myself because of the effort I put towards it.”
The role of class president come with a plethora of duties and responsibilities, but Castillo was ready and excited to take it on. He acts as the voice for the freshman class and has a platform for their ideas to be heard. With everything he plans, he tries to keep the students and their interests in mind. He even helps plan programs and events for the Kean student body to enjoy.
The role of president is very important to Castillo as he wants to prove that he can step up and be a good leader. By being a part of Student Organization, Castillo has been able to make the most of his collegiate experience so far and focuses on more than just academics. He has also learned many skills such as networking, leadership and more.
He said, "[Being president] showed me how to create this bond with the rest of the staff as well as the students that are also involved. I truly believe that the bonds I’ve created are going to last for the rest of my life, and that’s amazing."
While navigating his freshman year and holding the position of freshman class president, Castillo also holds off campus jobs. As a result, Castillo has a lot to say about staying organized and living a balanced lifestyle. He is confident that these skills, as well as all of the other ones he has obtained from working with Student Organization, will benefit him in his future endeavors.
When asked what advice he would give Kean students, Castillo said, "[Never] let anyone tell you you can’t do something, because you’re the only person that knows your own limits. Continue to shoot for the stars because you could stop and tell yourself that you can’t do it, or you can prove to yourself that you can [do it].”