SAN ANTONIO – Natalie Castillo is the valedictorian of her class at Brackenridge High School, but she is looking forward to attending the University of Texas at Austin in the fall to pursue a degree in management information systems.
“I say the three top people I look up to would be Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Sergey Brin. He’s the co-founder of Google,” said Castillo. “I look up to them because they’re accomplishing like what I want to accomplish in life. I want to be able to innovate and change the way we live, like Google, that changed the face of the internet as we know it.”
Castillo’s dream is to follow in their footsteps by starting her own technology company, but she would also like to pave the way for other women.
“I think it’s pretty known that women haven’t been represented in these fields, in like high positions, in high amount of influence like these individuals have,” said Castillo. “And I want to change that. I want to break those glass ceilings, not just for myself, but like for people who come after me.”
Castillo has been busy with her school’s cheer squad, the academic decathlon, DECA, and she’s been involved with Cyber Patriot, which is a cyber security competition. And, because she’s enrolled in the early college program, she will also be graduating with her associates.
“She’s a good communicator and she’s well-respected, but she is mostly the student that you see that’s truly interested in wanting to learn,” said Elizabeth Guevara, Brackenridge biology & master teacher. “And, I think that separates her from her peers.”