Four months after the tragic death of her daughter, Susie Castillo and her family decided to honor Andrea Castillo’s memory by launching the Andrea Castillo Foundation.
Andrea Castillo, a 21-year-old education major at the North Campus, died on October 21, two days after an accident on 49 St. and 9 Ct. She was the passenger in a car driven by her boyfriend, Marco Barrios, that police officials said ran a stop sign causing on-duty Hialeah police officer, Raul Somarriba, to crash into them.
Andrea dreamed of becoming a teacher and working with kids. She will not be able to fulfill her dreams, but her mother will honor her wishes by helping other education majors like her fulfill theirs.
“It was almost immediately after the burial that I realized I had to do something to memorialize her,” Susie Castillo, Miami-Dade School board member said. “It was about helping others accomplish what she couldn’t accomplish…knowing that her time was so short and her dreams didn’t come true.”
The foundation, which was launched on February 27 at the Miami Science Museum, will award Miami Dade College and Florida International University students that have been accepted into the Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Education program, a $1,000 scholarship.
Applicants must demonstrate financial need based on federal financial aid standards, a cumulative 3.0 grade point average, must have graduated from a Miami-Dade county public school, and must write a 250 word essay on the topic of “Volunteering in the Education Field.”
“The main focus is to grant scholarships to students who are beginning their bachelor’s in education” Castillo said. “The funds are flexible and can be used for anything.”
Scholarship recipients will be able to use the money for books, fees, and tuition. The foundation hopes to host an annual event on Andrea’s birthday to commemorate the winners, as well as celebrate Andrea’s life.
Students can start applying now until June 28.
“I really want it to be strong and help other students, “ Castillo said. “I know it’s something Andrea would’ve wanted.”
Andrea was set to graduate from MDC in the Fall 2012 with an Associates in Arts in Education. She would transfer to FIU to study elementary education this Spring. According to Castillo, the scholarship is modeled after her daughter’s hard work and passion for education.
“She did it, not me,” Castillo said. “It’s the right thing to do. Andrea would’ve wanted it that way…she was very happy, powerful, always giving back…she wouldn’t have wanted us to remember her in a sad way.”
For more information, visit: www. andreacastillofoundation.org