Luis Castillo is originally from Ica, Peru, but migrated to California at the age of ten and has lived in Richmond for most of his life. Upon graduating from high school, he attended Contra Costa Community College and was admitted to UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) as a junior transfer student. During his years as an undergraduate, he worked at the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) as an undocumented student mentor and lead intern. That opportunity instilled in him foundational values and helped him to develop a passion to support students in higher education. After receiving his B.A. in Latin American and Latino studies, he became the EOP apprentice for the Bridge program at UCSC and later worked as the adviser and program coordinator for the campus’s Feminist Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and History of Consciousness departments. Luis prides himself on being an active ally and support staff to women, first-generation, low-income, undocumented, transfer, non-gender binary, LGBTQ+, and students of color in higher education. In his current work, he’s an active agent of change in providing students with the voice, guidance, support, and services they need to break down systemic barriers that impede their academic success.
What exciting projects are you working on?
I’m always working on many exciting projects with regard to the developmental experience of undergraduate students; my scope is wide but I primarily focus on engineering student organizations, leadership programs, and the many services and programs we offer at the Center for Access to Engineering Excellence (CAEE).
How did your career path lead you to your current role?
My career aspirations have continuously focused on supporting first-generation, undocumented, LGBTQI+, historically disenfranchised, and underrepresented students.
Besides your work, what is something that you are passionate about?
I am very passionate about music (all genres), whiteness studies, Indigenous studies, and decolonial studies.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
My favorite spot on campus is the CAEE. The student assistants and tutors continuously work to make the space as welcoming and supportive to as many as possible.