UTEP Profiles: Meet Yazmin

Last Updated on July 31, 2017 at 12:00 AM

Originally published July 31, 2017

By UC Staff

UTEP Communications

Name: Yazmin Castruita

Yazmin Castruita
Yazmin Castruita

Major: Master of Rehabilitation Counseling graduate student and May 2017 graduate (B.S. in Kinesiology)

High School: Father Yermo High School, Class of 2013

What drew you to UTEP?

I have always been fascinated by UTEP’s beautiful campus, but most importantly have loved all the support they have for international students. Being classified as an international student, I felt very welcome and comfortable coming to this university. Coming from a close family, attending UTEP was also a great decision since I would be able to be close to them. Lastly, I was fortunate and received the UTEP Presidential Excellence Scholarship, which helped me pay for most of my tuition.

In which extracurricular activities are you involved?

I have been involved in a couple of student organizations such as Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA), Miner D.R.E.A.M., The Kinesiology Club, and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). I have done volunteer work both on and off campus. On campus I have volunteered for Project MOVE and Orange and Blue Day. Off campus I have volunteered with El Papalote Inclusive Child Development Center and with El Paso Orthopaedic Surgery Group. I have also had a couple of student employment positions. I used to work for the Office of New Student Orientation for about two-and-a-half years, where I served as an orientation leader and executive orientation leader. This was a very rewarding experience, since apart from being my first job ever, I got to interact with, guide and motivate all of the incoming students. I met so many fantastic individuals and learned so much throughout the experience. Now, I work with the Division of Student Affairs as a student programming assistant. This job has been filled with so many fun activities and opportunities. I have grown so much professionally and learned a lot regarding event planning. Both of my jobs have been fantastic, simply for allowing me to have the opportunity to interact with fellow Miners and help them become more engaged within the University.

What’s your favorite place to relax or study on campus?

For studying or to do homework I always like to go to the Children’s Collection area in the library or the courtyard area in the Geological Sciences Building. My favorite place to relax would be Centennial Plaza.

Tell us about a hands-on learning experience you’ve had at UTEP?

For two courses that I took, there was a fieldwork portion which consisted of serving as a student athletic trainer for participants in the Golden Age Fitness Program here at UTEP. Through this experience I had to apply everything that I had learned along with what I was learning in that particular semester. I had to guide the participant through their training plan along with making sure that their form was correct at all times. This experience was a lot of fun, since you really got to work with a variety of participants since you would expect and learn something different every day.

What are your career aspirations?

I am currently working on my master's in the rehabilitation counseling program. I plan on focusing on mental health counseling, and hope to help end the stigma counseling has in today’s society.

What’s your favorite UTEP event, and why?

Miner Welcome has always been an event that I look forward to. There is no better welcome back to the University than an entire week filled with different activities. I love the variety of events along with the free giveaways they offer. It is also a great opportunity to get to know more organizations and departments on campus!

What advice would you give to an incoming UTEP student?

Enjoy your years at UTEP as much as you can! Really take advantage of all the resources and opportunities the University has for you! Do your best to try and find a mentor who can guide you through your journey. Remember that at the end of the day, it is in your hands how much you really want to enjoy your college years and create once in a lifetime memories! Lastly, get comfortable with being uncomfortable!

What is your best UTEP memory so far?

Commencement definitely has to be my No. 1 of all the UTEP memories that I have. It was a day filled with so many emotions for me, since it was the day that it really hit me and made me realize that I had made it. Despite the length of the day and how tired I felt at the end of the day, I enjoyed it so much and had a blast! It also motivated me so much to pursue a higher education and reminded me that it is possible. Obtaining my bachelor’s from UTEP meant a lot for me, especially since I am the first in my family to obtain a degree from a university in the United States. It is definitely one of those moments that I will cherish forever!