Brittany Castro first arrived at South Mountain Community College as a student in the Achieving College Education (ACE) Program. Currently, she continues to serve ACE and SMCC as an ACE Administrator.
Brittany Castro grew up mostly in the west side of Phoenix with her mother, father, and 7 siblings. Her mother, Debra Castro, was mostly a stay at home mom taking care of all the kids. Her father, Steve Castro, was a construction worker and steel worker. Her father helped build steel structures all over Arizona and even went to Texas for a decent amount of time. During her young life, church was important to Brittany, who was baptized in the Catholic Church. She remembers church breakfasts and fellowship fondly. One of her favorite places to visit was the Mission San Xavier de Bac in Tucson, Arizona. Brittany remembers a room dedicated just for lighting candles.
Faith helped Brittany throughout her life. From a young age, Castro looked to her faith during good and difficult times. This allowed her to push through the harsh times she had faced with her family life and school life. When she was in the 3rd grade her family moved to Laveen, which at the time, was a big change for her.
In high school at Betty H. Fairfax, Brittany heard about an early college program at South Mountain Community College. At the time she was a Junior in high school, but she was able to create a family within this program called the ACE program. She was able to get through hard times while in this program, but was also able to work on getting through her education. After graduating high school, her father wanted her to start getting a job if she wanted to continue her educational path at SMCC. So, Brittany applied for a part time job at the SMCC bookstore. She worked there from the Fall of 2011 until 2014. After leaving her job at the bookstore, she ended up getting a job as a part-time work study, then later on applied to join SMCC ACE in a full-time capacity in September 2017.
Brittany credits the ACE program and her faith in her self with helping her through her adolescent struggles. In high school, she developed an eating disorder, and found caring for herself during high school difficult. Though she was proud of her family and their achievements, she knew that, as a first generation college student, she was very much on her own when it came to navigating higher education.
When Brittany Castro joined the ACE program, she felt very welcomed and cared for within that program and learned that she was capable of the college life, and that working hard enough allowed her to move out of her parents home and into a comfortable lifestyle of her own. Now, Brittany tries to give back to others in similar positions. She enjoys working in the ACE program, and she is glad she chose to stay there as an employee helping kids that are having a hard time just as she was when she was in high school.
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