Congratulations to David Castro, a senior at Zephyrhills High School, for being applauded by Avalon Park Wesley Chapel.
Castro is a shining example of a young adult making a positive impact in his local community. His passion is to help educate and train younger kids about two sports he loves — tennis and billiards.
Castro began playing tennis in fifth grade when his parents won a certificate for a reduced price for tennis lessons at a local park. Even though Castro loved the sport, he wasn’t able to continue, as he didn’t know any other tennis players to play with and couldn’t afford private lessons. Castro ended up focusing on baseball and football until his sophomore year when he was able to play tennis for his high school.
“This is when I reignited my passion for the game and became hungry for more,” says Castro.
This was during the time when the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis & Wellness Center opened. Castro was offered the opportunity to become one of the inaugural student ambassadors for the center’s foundation.
As an ambassador, Castro assists with afterschool programs at local elementary and middle schools as a tennis coach, to introduce the sport to young kids who might not normally get the chance to play.
“The most rewarding part is seeing the kids I coach share my passion for the game and improve their skills,” says Castro.
It’s Castro’s responsibility to represent the foundation by performing well in competitions and upholding its five pillars: education, character, community, positive role model and physical well-being.
“David continues to impress me with his proactive approach to solving problems and helping others,” says Nick Walton, director of operations at the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis & Wellness Center.
Castro also is a part of the nonprofit Shooting for the Future, which helps grow the sport of billiards through coaching, publicity and recruitment. He was one of the first players for the nonprofit, and also was a junior coach to help younger players improve their game.
“I enjoyed watching other students slowly fall in love with a sport that I already enjoyed,” says Castro.
Castro says coaching for the tennis foundation and nonprofit helps to give local kids a healthy alternative to sitting at home watching TV or playing video games.
After graduation, Castro hopes to pursue a career as either a pilot, or professional tennis and/or pool player.
“I don’t know what I’ll be doing, but I do know I’ll love every second of it,” says Castro.
Castro’s plan is to earn his associate degree from Pasco-Hernando State College and then earn enough scholarships to transfer to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to earn his bachelor degree.
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