Rogelio Castillo Jr.

When I started interviewing Rogelio Castillo Jr., he told me that he was “Just a normal kid in high school.” However, as the interview went on, I realized that he was anything but. His love for math and science, his dedication to athletics, and how he’s fought through having shin splints showed just how unique and hardworking of a person he truly is.

His friend Eli Waldman described Castillo as being, “Very intelligent and very good at problem solving.” In addition to his 4.28 GPA, he is very passionate when it comes to his schooling, particularly in math and science, and is planning on being an engineer when he grows up. Castillo is currently taking Precalculus honors with Mr. Furbee and AP Chemistry with Mr. Gade, two rigorous classes that he enjoys. When it comes to math he said, “I enjoy solving equations and I also enjoy geometry, simply because it's more visual”. Additionally, he mentioned being fond of popular science youtubers, such as “Veritasium” and “Vsauce". When questioned about his favorite experiment he’s done, he mentioned the explosive rockets he made in Mr. Gade’s class last year. But Mr. Gade has been more than just a teacher to Castillo. 

Mr. Gade is the leader of the school bike gang, which both Castillo and Waldman are part of. When asked about it, Waldman said that Mr. Gade leads them to school from Los Osos on their bikes. Castillo excels when participating in this as well, biking all the way from Morro Bay to Los Osos, just to bike back over with the rest of the gang. This puts him at a whopping 12 miles of biking before school, every Friday. 

Castillo’s participation in athleticism doesn’t stop at just biking, as he has also been a dedicated member of the cross country team since freshman year. He was originally convinced to join by Waldman, and has enjoyed participating in the sport ever since. Castillo said his favorite part about the sport is being able to run around Morro Bay, saying “Morro Bay is a very quiet place compared to other cities, you don’t have as many people around and it’s quite soothing to just go out on a run.” 

His consistency and hard work has paid off, with him going from 35-40 minute times in freshman year, all the way to about 25 minutes by the end of his sophomore year. This 10 minute increase didn’t come easily, with him having to constantly battle the injury that many runners dread: shin splints. In case you’ve never heard of it, shin splints are a sharp and persistent pain in your legs that has no real cure, only semi-effective treatment. Castillo’s ability to fight through this pain and continue running is what I think makes him so impressive, and this level of persistence and dedication has allowed him to excel both physically and academically. 

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