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2016-2017 Scholarship Recipient: Natalie Castillo Testimony

I moved to Cincinnati a few years ago when I began my career at Xavier University, and although my home was only 3 ours away, I felt that I was far from my family and Hispanic traditions. I had to say goodbye to my mom's Mexican cooking, our endless nights of dancing, our afternoons of conversation in Spanish and English, and my favorite, Abuelita's hot chocolate. 

It was wonderful to discover the family that the chamber has offered me since I got a phone call last year informing me that I had received a scholarship and an opportunity to participate in the chamber. Since then I have had experiences that have inspired me to continue my journey towards fully understanding my roots and culture. I was invited to participate in gatherings that filled the hole of not being at home, like the posadas during the Christmas holiday, and formed relationships with people that taught me about what it means to be a community, like Sara, Nelisa and Michael.

I have also learned the value of service and have been able to apply Xavier's motto to the community: all for one and one for all. Volunteering at the St. Maria's Health fair nurtured my desire of becoming a physician and emphasized the beauty of receiving a simple thank you. I am so grateful that I have been given this opportunity, to learn and grow with a community so rich in culture and traditions. I only hope that other students have the chance to prosper as I did through the kindness and generosity of the Hispanic Chamber.


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