Volunteer Spotlight: Maria Costillo

Madison Community Scholar

As part of her scholastic experience at James Madison University, Maria Castillo was granted an “amazing opportunity!” when she was awarded a position as a Madison Community Scholar.

Experience, scholarship, a bi-weekly leadership session, and opportunities to develop her resume as she moves toward graduation are just part of what she has enjoyed this year.

JMU’s Madison Community Scholars program is designed to empower students through service learning and leadership experiences while enhancing the ability of community partners like Bridgewater Retirement Community to achieve their missions.

Chosen on the basis of commitment to the community and to developing one’s own skills, MCS students spend eight to ten hours per week on site.

At BRC, Maria works under Laura Powell, director of volunteer services. She reports that the work has been rewarding because there are so many different things to participate in.

“I just do whatever they tell me to do,” she says. Those “whatever” things have included working on special projects, being part of the 2019 Senior Community Needs Assessment project, visiting with residents, and computer entry.

She has also enjoyed being a part of the Community Connections team, scheduling and helping with opportunities for team members to work together in service to the broader community. And there have been other entertaining experiences like helping with an Elvis concert and shopping in Cottage gifts. So many dimensions of learning have been part of the experience.

Originally from Herndon, Virginia, and a graduate of Herndon High School, Maria now resides in Front Royal and on the JMU campus. She is double majoring in psychology and justice studies with a concentration in global justice.

Thanks, Maria! We love having you here and appreciate all you do to fill our cups at BRC.