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University Advancement | September 2018  


Giving back right out of the gate

Marc Castillo, Accounting ’16

Marc Castillo, Accounting ’16


Many alumni wait a few years following graduation before making a donation to their alma mater. The time gives them a chance to establish themselves, get a foothold in their career, and have a sense of their finances. But Marc Castillo felt compelled. The 2016 grad from Accounting at the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) wanted to give back right away.

At only 26, the proud Ryerson alumnus gave $10,000 to create the Marc Castillo – Filipino Canadian Association of Ryerson Award for Student Engagement. The award is being matched through the President’s Awards to Champion Excellence (PACE), bringing the total support to $20,000.

Originally from the Philippines, Castillo was the youngest of four children raised by a single mother, and is the first in his family to complete a degree from a Canadian university. While at TRSM, he worked full-time as a manager at a clothing store and completed courses at night. These obstacles inspired him to create this award for future students.

“I don’t have any regrets, but if I’d had more financial support, I could’ve taken advantage of different opportunities and spent more time on school work,” says Castillo.

The award will recognize highly engaged students, particularly those making an impact through the Filipino Canadian Association of Ryerson. Students from any program who are the first in their family to attend university are eligible for the award.

“Ryerson prepared me in many different ways,” says Castillo. “A course in personal financial planning taught me how to position myself so I could travel, make donations like this one, and enjoy life right out of school. And being involved with student groups helped me build my network and develop skills and competencies that will serve me well in my career.”

He credits his role as commissioner for the Ryerson Student Union, for example, with giving him the confidence and taste for sales.

“I had to speak to students from various programs and cultural backgrounds,” says Castillo. “I learned how to curate my conversations based on their personality. It made all the difference when speaking to business owners, professionals, and high-level executives in corporations.”

He would later use what he learned to land a business development role at Peninsula Canada, a fast-growing human resources consulting firm that helps small and medium-sized business owners deal with human resources and employment standards in Ontario.

“I hope this new award levels the playing field,” Castillo says, “and gives students a chance to get more involved without sacrificing their grades.”

To learn how you can create a named award and trigger matching funds, please visit
the PACE giving page.