Rebecca Castillo ’20 was recently named a Lang Social Impact Fellow, a position designed to “empower scholars with their partners to engage in systems-change activities designed to close the gap between social challenges and solutions.”
A native of Los Angeles, Castillo grew up with a passion for storytelling and noticed a severe lack of Latina representation in media. This discrepancy, along with her observations of barriers to education and unequal distribution of academic resources, inspired her to launch Storyboard, a project that provided marginalized students with tools to tell their stories and with support in pursuing higher education. The project was a finalist in the SwatTank competition and also received funding from the Project Pericles Fund of Swarthmore College.
At Swarthmore, Castillo was a special major in education, race, and media studies. Some of the courses that helped her link academics with action included Introduction to Education; Latinos and Education; Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship; Education, Race, and the Law; and A Site of Struggle: Education Policy. Castillo is pursuing a master’s in entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, with an anticipated graduation date of May 2022.
“I began working on Storyboard in 2018, during my sophomore year at Swarthmore. Since then, we’ve run programs in Los Angeles and New York, working with middle and high school students to teach them photography, filmmaking, and writing skills,” says Castillo. “The Lang Social Impact Fellowship will enable me to scale up and continue providing accessible digital media education to diverse students across the country. I am best suited to mentor students with interests in education, racial equity, immigration rights, social entrepreneurship, and digital media.”
Castillo is currently seeking project partners in Los Angeles and New York. Any schools, organizations, or individuals interested in providing accessible digital media education to diverse students should contact her at email@example.com.