Lucy Castillo's Page

Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools New Jersey

Lucy Castillo's Page

If you are reading this you know me well and know a bit about me and the things I'm passionate about. Chief among them are education, community and leadership.  All are reasons why I accepted a job with Citizen Schools last summer.

Citizen Schools is a national non-profit that partners with low-performing middle schools in   low-income communities to expand their learning day.  We expand the day in terms of time but also in terms of the people and opportunities we expose our students to.  We have employees from places like Prudential, Merck, Cognizant and Fidelity work with our students over 10-weeks on real-world hands on projects.  Students have argued in mock trials, programed robots, practiced yoga and created documentaries.

Citizen Schools resonated with me because volunteerism has been a part of my life since I was a kid following my mother around the hospital where she worked.  School was the place I bloomed as a shy kid (no giggles, I was).  My entree into the world of work was as a school teacher, so Citizen Schools marries all of my passions and leverages my talents.  I so believe in the impact our work has on students now, but also know how our work can totally change the life trajectory of a student.  There aren't too many places more in need than Newark, NJ.

Newark is among the lowest achieving cities in the country. Only 55% of Newark students graduate from high school. Of them, only 20% are college-ready. Research shows that improving kids’ experiences in middle school could make the difference between a new Newark and more of the same. Citizen Schools provides a second shift of educators and a model that combines academic rigor, character development and career perspectives.  Citizen Schools New Jersey provides a way to turn the tide, and help transform the city into a symbol of hope, achievement and positive change.

Please support us! We are embarking on an effort to drastically increase the number of students we serve in New Jersey over the next few years. Help us raise $30,000 by March 31st – please consider making a donation!

All donations will be matched by an anonymous donor. You can now make double the difference.


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