Graduate Barbara Castro smiles for the camera.

Barbara Castro says when she found out she was chosen she was chosen she was “shocked.” She says she just went through high school doing “the best [she could] do without thinking about anything else.”

Castro says her experience in high school “taught [her] how to keep moving forward and always work harder in life.” She also adds that it taught her “life lessons like focusing on the positive.”

When asked what she will miss about Malden High School, Castro says the main thing is band teacher, Erin Mazza. Castro credits Mazza as “the go to person who [she] could talk to.” She adds that “now that [she] will be attending a college two hours away it will be a lot harder because [she will not] have that one person to go to.”

Mazza has known Castro since freshman year, and has had her in her classroom every year since then. Whether it was in a small ensembles class, or with Castro as her school to career, Mazza says Castro “liked to be involved in everything [they] did.”

Mazza says that through the time she has known Castro, she has seen her “become very confident in who she is as a person.” When asked what she will miss most about her, Mazza responds with “[Castro’s] laugh” and her ability to always “brighten [her] day.”

Castro credits her mom as a big influence in her life. She speaks about her fondly saying that “she is [her] rock, and [her] day one.”

Leaving high school, Castro looks forward to “what the future holds next for [her].” She wants to “find out who [she is] independently and [is] excited for what [her] major has in store for [her].” She is excited to be closer to what she “want[s] to do in life which [for her] is biology.”

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