Rony Castellanos

Rony Castellanos, a student at Bright Star Schools, in Los Angeles, received a 2011 Susan Steelman Bragato Scholarship of $1,500 for college tuition.

Rony arrived in the United States only a short time before entering high school. He left his mother and sisters to live with his father in California in hopes of obtaining an education. He admits that arriving in the United States felt like a rebirth, having to re-learn everything: a new language, culture, family and a new life.

His goal is to study journalism and become an English/Spanish teacher. Rony’s interest in journalism comes from the desire to report the truth about world issues that impact his community. He wants to teach English and Spanish to help those who seek a better life and understand others.

The scholarship is named for Susan Steelman Bragato, the co-founder of the first charter school in California and the founder of the California Network of Educational Charters (which was renamed the California Charter Schools Association in 2003). Sue was one the first Californians to recognize the need to build a strong network of support among charter school leaders statewide.