Alexi Castilla

Alexi Castilla, class of 2013

Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in criminal justice

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Hello, my name is Alexi Castilla. I am 22 years old and graduated in the spring of 2013. I majored in Social Work with a minor in criminal justice. Since I am from a rather large family of ten (eight kids and two parents) my parents couldn't afford to pay for my college education so I have been working and paying it off as I go. Knowing that I did all of this myself, makes obtaining my BSW even more special. When I graduate I will have been at SMU for four years, making this place like a second home to me.

Why do you want to obtain a BSW?

I want to have the knowledge to sufficiently help others. Anyone can lend a hand or help someone in need, but a BSW program offers specific training to be a professional social worker. I have learned so much in these past four years, not just from my teachers, but from people I've met and worked with as well. I would not have the knowledge to work effectively if I did not have the skills that his BSW program provided me.

What motivates you to be a social worker?

One world: hope.

Hope that there are good people out there. Hope that when you feel hopeless, you will find faith and love in other people. What motivates me is the thought of bringing hope to people who can't seem to find it at the moment.

What do you like/enjoy/appreciate about the Saint Martin's BSW program?

I appreciate having a wonderful leader in Dr. Katya Shkurkin, who put the program together. Dr. Katya guided me through four years and was the best advisor I've ever had. She did more than merely help me pick out my classes. She was always there whenever I needed her, whether i was to talk or receive a hug. The one thing I will miss the most about Saint Martin's is Dr. Katya. She is more than just a teacher or advisor - she is a friend and a substitute mom. I am extremely grateful to her and ecstatic that the rest of the students get to benefit from her amazing work.

College of Arts and Sciences