Antioch High’s Mateo Castro named 2022 Antioch Youth of the Year

Mateo Castro (in lavender vest) was joined on Friday night, March 24, 2023 by his parents to his right, as well as (L-R) Past Chamber Chair Ana Walker, Chamber Board Member Michelle Copeland, Supervisor Diane Burgis and Antioch School Board Area 5 Trustee Mary Rocha. Photo by Allen D. Payton

During the Antioch Chamber of Commerce’s annual Gala on Friday, March 24, Executive Director Daniel Sohn read the following about the 2022 Antioch Youth of the Year Mateo Castro: “He may not be an Antioch native, but Mateo Castro has certainly made this city his beloved home. The Antioch High School senior grew up in San Francisco and moved with his family as a seventh grader attending Park Middle for two years before making his way (with a big impact) to Panther Country.

A key member of AHS student government, Mateo is Antioch High’s Student Body president.  In this position, he helps direct all student-hosted activities…and there are a lot of them!  The long list includes a variety of events from freshmen orientation and homecoming spirit week to assisting with graduation.  For Mateo, it also includes nearly everything in-between.

He said sometimes having such a busy schedule is stressful, “but in the end, it always pays off.  Helping people drives me.  I love helping those in need any way I can.”

Mr. Wisely, the lead activities instructor, states that Mateo is a phenomenal kid.  He pours his heart and soul into Antioch High.  He has a unique ability to be a leader and a selfless helper.  He always goes the extra mile for our school.  I wish we could clone him because he will be hard to replace.”

Principal John Jimno also admires Mateo.  “He is a leader, who stands up for what he believes in and is considerate of his school community.  He maintains a level head while courageously championing his peers through student government.”

After graduation, Mateo plans to attend a four-year school to earn a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field.

“We’re so proud of him. This is an example of…the future of the city,” said Antioch School Board Area 5 Trustee Mary Rocha.

“I’m extremely grateful to be honored as this year’s Youth of the Year,” Castro said, “I have to say a big thank you to Mr. Wisely. Him in combination with Miss Trine Gallegos. She has been the coordinator for all of my events.”

He also thanked his teachers and “my best friend Billy Pisco who has always pushed me out of my comfort zone. I want to thank my parents…for always being my biggest supporters. Thank you, mama and papa.”

Castro received a $1,000 scholarship with $500 each from the Antioch Rotary and Delta-Antioch Rotary Clubs.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report which first appeared in the April/May print edition.

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