Maybe it’s the smile. Maybe it’s the twinkle in her eyes. Maybe it’s the genuineness of her personality. For whatever reason Andrea Castro, who prefers to be called Andy, stands out even in a crowd. There is something angelic and impish about her that draws people into her orbit. She is as lovely as the sun, the moon and the stars and I am one of the lucky people who gets to call her a friend.
Andy was one of the students at the high school where I spent my last years in education. Everyone loved her, mostly because she was so down to earth and genuine. She was talented in virtually every regard but it was music that most excited her. An instrument in her hands became a work of art and somehow we all knew that it was her destiny to pursue her talent as a lifelong career.
After high school she invited me to one of her recitals that was held at the University of St. Thomas. She played the violin that night and both my husband and I were enthralled, especially in knowing that she also had the capability of making music with other instruments as well. It was a lovely moment in which I felt a sense of pride and gratitude in being able to share in the essence of who Andy is.
Eventually Andy was accepted into the prestigious music therapy program at Texas Women’s University. She reveled in the creative atmosphere there that allowed her expansive personality to soar ever higher. It was as though she had found the perfect place in which to grow as an artist and a person. I followed her progress and sent good vibes her way each time she had a big concert or presentation. She worked hard and little by little moved forward in her knowledge of music and her quest to become a therapist.
This past fall she bravely entered the adult world by accepting an internship at a Veterans Administration Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. She loaded up her car and drove off to points unknown where she charmed a whole new group of people who fell under her lovely spell. She excelled in her work and felt particularly proud of her accomplishments and the impact that she was having on the patients with whom she interacted. It provided her with the perfect opportunity of combining her beautiful music with the joyfulness of her heart. I imagine that she brought smiles and hope to many a damaged soul, for the most incredible thing about Andy is her ability to love so sincerely.
Andy took great delight in all of her experiences as an intern. She made friends who will remember her for a lifetime but more importantly she made a difference in the lives of veterans suffering from PTSD, depression and other mind altering illnesses. I can’t think of anyone better suited for such work than Andy so I was not at all surprised to learn that her coworkers were saddened when she had to leave or that she had so impressed them that they felt comfortable putting her in charge of the program in their absence. Of course she earned an A for her participation but more important are the life lessons that she will likely draw upon as she enters the next phase of her life.
Andrea Castro is officially a graduate of Texas Women’s University with a major in Music Therapy. She has begun the process of searching for a job and to both her delight and surprise she has already had offers. I suspect that she will not be an unemployed college graduate for long and whoever lands her will be incredibly lucky.
Andy always makes me smile. She has an uncanny way of making everyone feel comfortable, relaxed. There is no need to put on airs with Andy, no reason to worry. She makes it clear that she is not just accepting but also that she enjoys and prefers the variety of the human experience. She faces the world with optimism and warmth that radiates from her beautiful face. She loves people and animals and somehow finds a spark of hope in even the most desperate situation. She seems to instinctively know what to say or do to help people feel better about themselves. I know that there have been moments when she helped me through a difficult day with her humor and her sweetness without even being aware of her influence on my mood.
I am particularly excited about Andy’s future as she tackles the world of adults. I have every confidence that she will have a spectacular life because of her love of music that she has used to tap into to the very soul of humanity to showcase her generous heart. I marvel that so many of us who know her have been touched by her magnanimous spirit and her warm smile. I’m happy to be part of her growing fan club and to have played a teeny tiny part in her development into a most remarkable woman. I wish her all the best as she launches her career.
Andrea Castro is someone to watch. I think that we will hear about her accomplishments again and again. She is indeed a very special person who oozes an understated and disarming charisma. The whole world will be her stage and she will be a super star as she heals hearts and souls.