Javiera Castro is a voice for conservation
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Where is UMKC taking you?
To Scotland because there are so many conservation opportunities there. I’m currently talking to the University of Glasgow to continue my studies once I finish at UMKC.
Why did you choose UMKC?
UMKC has one of the best LGBTQIA programs in the country. I did a lot of research and was impressed with how far back the school’s history goes in LGBTQIA activism.
How did you hear about UMKC?
One of my friends was attending here, and I was already hanging out on campus all the time.
What are your lifelong goals?
I plan to live in Scotland. The land and the environment there are beautiful, and I can work with animals and conservation. I want to be doing work that I absolutely love.
What motto do you live by?
I am a Scotsman, therefore I had to fight my way into the world. – Sir Walter Scott
What excites you?
Reptiles and amphibians. I have a ball python and two leopard geckos. I love how misunderstood they are, and I can relate to that. I don’t get why people are afraid of them – plus they are free pest control. A lot of reptiles are facing threats of extinction because people forget about them, and I want to help change that.
Do you belong to any organizations? What do you like about them?
The LGBTQIA Center – it makes me feel safe, like I have a voice. And I feel like I have a place where I can hang out and be myself. I’m also part of Avanzando, where I feel like I matter. I find it difficult for people to understand things they haven’t lived through themselves, and through this organization I can talk to others who better understand.
What got you into your field of study?
I was struggling through some tough times, and my pets really helped me get through everything. I want to work with animals and keep them safe.
Do you have any advice for future UMKC students?
Make friends with your professors. In college we can be friendly and informal, they aren’t scary. They are real people like us.