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Pre-med student veteran receives national leadership award

Stan Jackson

University of Georgia student Gabriela Castillo was featured on the cover of the August issue of G.I. Jobs magazine for receiving the publication’s 2023 Student Veteran Leadership Award. The national honor is handed out annually by the magazine’s editorial team to student veterans who make a positive impact through serving their schools, communities and fellow veterans.

Castillo, an Army medic turned pre-med student, logged hundreds of hours at a clinic that provides free quality medical care to low-income families. Between working at the Good News Clinic near her home in Gainesville and attending classes in Athens, Castillo commuted 500 miles per week over the course of her first academic year. During that time, she became a consistent veteran advocate in the Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC) and served to guide and direct other student veterans through the obstacles of transitioning from active duty to life as a civilian college student.

Castillo said that transitioning from the Army was not easy, but that she is thriving now because of how much help the university provided.

“As a dual military family, my husband and I had to start from square one. I was not prepared for the amount of support I would need at UGA – or how the staff would help me through the challenges,” she said. “The response has been overwhelming. From ways to connect with my peer student veterans, to mentoring and opportunities for scholarships – I am so grateful for the guidance and the resources.”

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Image: Gabriela Castillo on the cover of the August issue of G.I. Jobs magazine

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