NEW YORK—In a time filled with social change, spurred by the #MeToo movement and Black Lives Matter, we are reminded of just how important organizations like the YWCA are.
For the woman who’s at the helm of it all, she knows the significance of her post, especially, in these changing times.
"We are at a juncture in our country, with regards to women and girls and what we do today will determine the future of the next generation," YWCA CEO, Alejandra Castillo said.
Alejandra Castillo took the reins as CEO of the YWCA this past fall.
Born in Corona, Queens to Dominican parents, she calls herself a “quintessential New Yorker” and says her own upbringing certainly determined her future.
"Although we lived in Queens, my father had a bodega in the Bronx in the 1970s. He was a leader. He created a business and was a mentor to many people and I learned a lot from him," Castillo said.
After college and law school, Castillo wound up working in both the Clinton White House and with the Obama administration.
She then held a job in the private sector and now says working for a non-profit has been almost a kind of spiritual calling.
As the YWCA gets ready to celebrate its 160 years in existence, Castillo is hoping to bring the organization into the 21st century.
"I am fascinated by technology and innovation. So at the YWCA, we‘re talking about STEM E-3: STEM education, STEM employment and STEM entrepreneurship. I really believe women in particular stand at an amazing opportunity to take creativity and marry the technology," Castillo said.
And with the #MeToo movement leading the charge, she says the YWCA will continue to protect and empower women.
"The core issues that still plague us, domestic violence, sexual harassment, lack of opportunity, a glass ceiling, that although its been shattered in many ways, is still hovering over our heads." Castillo expressed.
A glass ceiling she hopes to help shatter, as she grooms the next generation to lead non-profit America.
"It's not enough to be the first or the first Latina. I want to make sure that the doors not open only for me, but that I can open it for thousands of others," Castillo said.