Clarissa Castro – 18 - California Interview by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination by Mayra Castro Main Photography by Stacy Jacob Photography Issue 19 Inspiring Teens Magazine | Volunteer
The Nomination: Clarissa Castro is an Ambassador for the Ophelia Project, a woman support program and for the Coachella Valley Missionary Program where confused teens need a wise guide in rough times. She also was on the varsity tennis team for three years, in the medical program at her school, and coordinated an event.
Image taken by a friend
Tell me about your duties as an Ambassador for the Ophelia Project. My duties as an Ambassador for the Ophelia Project include time. I volunteer at places such as Martha's Village, Senior Centers, Coachella Valley Horse rescue mission, etc. These events usually take place on weekends or weekdays after school. We have meetings throughout the year to attend at our main office. I also will be giving a public speech at our 2019 Ophelia Luncheon.
Tell us about “Dancing in light with the Angels”, and what it has to do with mass shootings? I coordinated an event at my school called “Dancing in light with the Angels”, The reason behind it was to show other communities that together we are a whole. Also, to remember the lives we have lost in mass shootings around the country. During the event I read a speech written by me that goes into more detail on why we need to stand together as one always. In the middle of the event, above the crowd 50+ beautiful white doves flew making a figure of an angel. We took it as a sign that our loved ones were watching over us. It was said that the event was very “peaceful and therapeutic “.
How did your career in tennis begin? My career in tennis began when my dad constantly pushed my siblings and I to be better, and to go after the opportunities he never had so we would not struggle as he did in life. Finding the right sport was very difficult, but my sophomore year I tried something new - Tennis. Tennis gave me a home and let me open up to such amazing people. I left for two months in the summer of 2018 for the very first time ever for Independent Training and where I learned how to coach others. Why do you think you are so inspiring? I believe that everyone is inspiring in their very own unique ways. I am convinced that I’m a miracle baby. Being born at only 6 months gestation and weighing a little over 2 pounds, doctors made no promise of me surviving to my parents. Yet I fought for my life, independently breathing on my own without assistance only three minutes after coming to this world. The doctors told my parents they’ve never seen a baby this small pulling off their oxygen mask and that I was one of a kind. I am living on my second chance to give back to the world and to be the change we wish to see.
Image taken by her mom
What are your plans for the future? My plans are to attend college and achieve my degree in Kinesiology to be doctor for Physical therapy. After I obtain my degree, I wish to live temporarily in Africa by teaching those what I know and helping on my free time by building houses, schools, and churches.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? I am an ambassador for the Coachella Valley Missionary Program. Here we help teens see a better way to live life.
Clarissa will be featured in issue 19 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!