50 Over 50 Project for 2020


Debby De Castro

Age: 60


"It's a cliche to say that I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference. But here's the thing: I think that we all learn from each other, we all teach each other, and because we leave a mark on everyone we touch, we are always making a difference."

Age: 60
Profession: Teacher

What's the best thing about being your age?
In my head, I’m younger than my years. I love being able to hold onto that.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Leaving a loving mark on those whose paths I cross.

What is your greatest fear?
I have already lived through my greatest fear. Still, it can grab ahold of me and take away my breath and make me question my survival. But I’m still here.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would rid myself of insecurities.

What is a trait you are most proud of?
My compassion; my heart. I know that I have touched the lives of others in a positive way.

What advice would you give your younger self?
When I lost my son, I tried to make sense of it – to figure out what I was "supposed" to learn from it. I don't have an answer. I like the idea (I don't know who said it, or in what context) that we don't die, we multiply. I wish my son knew how many people carry him with them.
My advice to my younger self would be just that: You will multiply. There will be many people who carry you with them after you are gone. Make sure the mark you leave is a loving, supportive, positive one.

​What is your motto or favorite quote?
I have a few ideas that I live by. Here are two:
We cannot change what we do not like, but we can always change our perspective.
It is possible to have more of many things: money, friends, and so on. The only thing of which we cannot have more is TIME.