Malena Castillo is a college preparation advisor with the Texas GEAR UP state grant. She currently serves the Class of 2018 at Memorial and Kennedy high schools in Edgewood ISD in San Antonio. Born and raised in the south side of San Antonio, Malena graduated from Harlandale High School in 2011 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in communication studies from The University of Texas at Austin in 2015. She then spent two years as a college advisor with Advise TX, working with students at John B. Connally High School in Austin. A first-generation college graduate herself, Malena aims to inspire the students she works with to unapologetically chase their educational goals.