Now in his third year at Alvernia University, accounting major and Reading Collegiate Scholar Justin Abreu-Castro serves his home city working for the Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement (HCCGE). Through his work-study position, Abreu-Castro tutors first and second grade students at the same elementary school he attended as a child.
Coming from a single-parent household, Justin Abreu-Castro, a Reading High School graduate, knew he wanted to attend Alvernia but was unsure how to fund his education. That’s when his mother stepped in. “I come from a family with a limited income. So, my mother encouraged me to look at scholarships available to attend Alvernia.”
Abreu-Castro got the call in May 2017 that his tuition would be covered in full through the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program (RCSP). “It was a big relief when I got the scholarship,” Abreu-Castro said.
The RCSP gives inner-city students an opportunity to rise above challenging circumstances by preparing them to attend and succeed at college. In turn, RCSP members provide service and improve life for people in Greater Reading and beyond.
Abreu-Castro hopes to make a lasting impact in the lives of the inner-city students he tutors. “I’m happy to be someone these kids can look up to. Hopefully, I can inspire the students to do what they want to do in life.”
Not knowing what the future holds, the accounting major said his service work is teaching him valuable lessons he’ll use in his career. “Participating in service teaches me to be humble and appreciate what I have.”
Thanks to the RCSP and the generous donors who recently donated over $2 million to endow scholarships for the program, students like Abreu-Castro will continue to create positive change in the City of Reading and beyond while earning a college degree.