When she was only 5 years old, Monica M. Del Castillo emigrated from Havana, Cuba to the United States with her parents and three siblings. Her parents, Guillermo and Modesta Del Castillo, chose to move to America to give their children the chance to grow up in the land of freedom and opportunity. Del Castillo said, “Their courage to leave their families, their home and their culture, is something that I can appreciate so much more now that I’ve experienced what they left behind.” This past year Del Castillo had the opportunity to return back to her home country for the first time since her family left over 45 years ago. She said, “As I traveled to Cuba, I realized that I was living my parent’s dream … I was returning to Cuba as a college educated woman, with a career that I love, the mother of a wonderful little girl and with a loving partner that took this journey with me.” Now, a counselor and instructor at Lansing Community College, Del Castillo graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Michigan State University. She said, “I can say this as I have traveled to Spain, Mexico, the French Rivera, Tahiti and several Caribbean Islands. Cuba is truly a diamond in the rough.”
A senior at Michigan State University pursuing a career in communications and public relations, Danielle enjoys cooking, traveling and all Middle Eastern food.