Meet Siahra!


Siarha Castillo smiles warmly through the Facetime camera, as she sits atop her bed in her university dorm, the window next to her shoulder darkened with the late hour. This is the first time we’ve talked in a while, despite the fact that she’s my older sister, due to both of our hectic schedules. Siarha’s used to long hours, having spent her time at the Mount juggling Peer Leadership, a myriad of roles in the musical, writing for the Argosy, and numerous AP classes. Now, she’s a college Sophomore at Princeton University, ready to reminisce.  

Siarha commented on her busy schedule, acknowledging her hectic time at the Mount and what she learned from it. “In school, there’s always so much going on, especially at the Mount, I feel like there’s always something happening and I would really emphasize making sure that you’re not letting yourself get caught up with all of the different things that are going on and really absorb the warmth and the support that you’re receiving and make the most of it while you’re there.”

While at the Mount, Siarha enjoyed taking part in many classes, including Capstone her senior year. “[It] was a fantastic experience with research and going through the process of finding a topic and then researching it and knowing enough about it to then study something about it.” She noted how it “definitely helped [her] as [she’s] moved through college, doing other papers and research projects.” She talked of her AP Literature class and how it was structured “[It] was basically reading a book and then having a student-led discussion about it during class. Those were some of my favorite moments, just bouncing off of my classmates and being really excited to talk about a narrative or a story that really spoke to me.”

Beyond academics, Siarha had many fond memories of her time at the Mount to share. “I have so many amazing memories of extracurriculars. I was a part of the musical theater scene back in the day, and I participated in student ministry. I definitely have great, great memories of being on the ski team. So I would say all of it combined really is what made it, really what shaped me into someone who could experience a lot of different things and take them with her to college.” She talked of her memories of Field Day, “when everyone would just go into the athletic center and it was basically a competition among class years. And we would cheer our classmates on and it was just such an adrenaline-filled day and everyone was super involved and fired up and excited, um, to participate.”

Siarha has much wisdom to share with current students, built on the experiences she had during her time at the Mount. Looking back, she notes how she “let [her]self get caught up in things that were going on. It’s easy to say in hindsight, of course, ‘relax.’ ‘Don’t beat yourself up over every mistake you make,’ that kind of thing. It really would be something I needed to hear a little more, in high school, `it’s okay to make mistakes and they will help you grow as a person.’”

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