Diana Castillo

Ask for help every time you need it. Ask for advice and guidance because there are people who are willing to help you. You can do it!

Advice for the Class of 2024


What does being a First-Generation College Graduate mean to you?

Being a first-generation college graduate means my graduation is for my family and my community. I was able to graduate with the love and support of family and friends who continuously encouraged me to pursue my passion projects.

What is your proudest moment from your time at Ithaca College?

My proudest moment at Ithaca College was receiving the news that I had been accepted into the second cohort of the BOLD Women's Leadership Scholars. This scholarship gave me the opportunity to continue my social justice work and create a campus transformation project along side my cohort. I am so grateful for this opportunity.

Ithaca Experiences

Who are the family members, friends or loved ones who have been most influential throughout your college journey? Are there any words of gratitude you would like to share with them?

Muchas gracias a mis padres, hermanas, y mis Abuelitos. I couldn't have done this without you all. This degree is ours. Les quiero mucho.

Are there any Clubs, Activities, or Involvements that you were a part of at Ithaca College?

I served on the founding e-board of the 1st First Gen student organization, serving as the social media coordinator and later president. I co-founded the student organization, CODA, the Committee on Decolonial Affairs, and helped create Migrante Magazine. I was a residential assistant for two years, specifically for first year students. I served as the tertulia instructor for the Linguistic Department for 3 years at IC.


Who are the staff, faculty or mentors who have been most influential throughout your college journey? Are there any words of gratitude you would like to share with them?

I am extremely thankful to have met wonderful people who have become mentors to me throughout my college journey. Thank you to Maria DiFrancesco who was my first year seminar professor and supported me through scholarship applications, career choices, and difficult moments during my college experience. Thank you BOLD director Sam Elebiary who always lend a listening ear and was eager to find a solution to any issue. I am so grateful for your guidance and wisdom. A huge thank you to the entire CSCRE department who made me feel like at home at a PWI. A special thank you to Professor Licón and Professor Paula for their continuous support and words of encouragement. It was incredibly empowering to see myself represented in the class curriculum. Thank you to Professor Ellie who served as my Education Studies advisor and friend. I will greatly miss our talks during office hours. Thank you to Professor Patricia Rodriguez who encouraged me to pursue my social justice work in the non-profit sector. Our trip to the 2018 Border Encuentro is something I will cherish forever. I am so thankful for all of you.

Ithaca Experiences

What do you plan or hope to do now that you have graduated?

I am proud to share that I have received the Helen Gurley Brown Fellowship from the BOLD Women's Leadership Network and will begin my new position with the nonprofit, UnLocal, Inc. as a Community Outreach Fellow. I will be working under the Education and Outreach department and continuing their mission of building partnerships with community-based entities to provide accessible resources to immigrant communities.