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Griselle Castillo’s Self Sufficient Ambition

Griselle+Castillo.+Photo+courtesy+of+Griselle+Castillo
Griselle Castillo. Photo courtesy of Griselle Castillo

Griselle Castillo. Photo courtesy of Griselle Castillo

Griselle Castillo. Photo courtesy of Griselle Castillo

Alyssa Madonna, Featured Writer

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Griselle Castillo, 21-year-old Connecticut native and student at Pace University, knows how to hustle.

As a daughter of two Dominican immigrant parents, who worked hard to sustain a comfortable lifestyle for their family, it hasn’t been easy. Thus, Castillo has been working since the age of fourteen. She even manages to pay for her college tuition.

“I’ve been so ambitious and my family can’t exactly afford to put me through college,” Castillo said. “I’ve paid for my education completely. My parents can’t really afford much but it hasn’t ever bothered me. [It] gives me character!”

From starting her own tutoring business to working at hair salons, the first-generation student found ways to make money.

Castillo was in high school when she started her own tutoring business, where she posted flyers around the school to promote her services. She then began to charge ten dollars per hour to six students who came to her consistently for academic help.

Unfortunately, her tutoring business slowed down one year later. Nonetheless, Castillo was adamant to make money and eventually found Nicole Noel, a hair salon in Danbury, CT where she still works today.

“[The owner of the hair salon] didn’t want to hire me,” Castillo said. “She thought I was too young and immature. So, I felt challenged and got better with time.”

Castillo was interested in the industry but felt that the job would never be enough to sustain her lifestyle. Therefore, she graduated high school one year ahead of her class to have a head-start at community college to become an anesthesiologist. However, she quickly realized that this career path was not for her.

Eventually, Castillo declared herself a liberal arts major. After earning an associate’s degree while working 40+ hours a week, Castillo transferred to Pace University and is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.

In the future, the Pace student plans to graduate and work in New York City.

“I’m in love with Brooklyn so I’m hoping to make my permanent address there,” Castillo said. “Maybe I’ll get my masters, maybe I’ll get my cosmetology license. I try not to plan too far ahead because plans always change.”

Opening her own blow dry bar, which is a hair salon that only offers blow dries and hot tool styling services, is a dream of hers. The creator of Drybar, Alli Webb, is an inspiration to Castillo being that she was first a publicist before she opened the first location and to-date has opened 69 locations total.

“[Alli Webb] was a publicist first so I’m just going to be the better version of her,” Castillo said.

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