First-generation Mexican-American starts San Diego non-profit to help needy families

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 21:00:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — There are so many lessons of friends and neighbors reaching out to support each other, but one small non-profit has been lifting up the lives of needy community members for decades, one student or one family at a time.

Yolanda Castro’s family knows about struggles and sacrifices. Her parents arrived in the U.S. 95 years ago from central Mexico and faced the challenges of affording food, clothing, and necessities. But their work, persistence and faith allowed them to break barriers and always making education a priority, they became a family of firsts.

"We had to work. My father, mother, they worked hard at whatever they could. We needed to have a career or go to college but we needed to take care of ourselves," said Castro, co-founder of Generations on the Move.

So after almost 30 years of federal service, Castro, along with her sister and cousins launched Generations on the Move in 2009, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young people to pursue their dreams of college and helping their families with food and clothing.

Marci Corona got a scholarship from Generations on the Move allowing her to go to San Diego State, now she’s off to medical school with a goal of becoming a physician. Jonathon Patsy got help from Generations on the Move to go to UC Davis. The organization has awarded 59 scholarships to worthy high school graduates, and Castro founded an annual 5K to help raise money to send more.

"Our community, our neighborhoods … that’s what makes us strong. That we were willing to help each other, maybe we didn’t have the money, but we always found the money," Castro said.

Even if the money came out of their own pockets.

Castro describes Generations on the Move as a grassroots effort to make life better for those just like her. To date, the non-profit has uplifted the lives of 100 families and made it possible for their children to chart a course to a new level of excellence for their families.

She believes people were there to help her family, and now we need to help others.

For her work creating a legacy for families that will span the generations, ABC 10News has awarded Castro with the 10News Leadership Award.

If you would like to take part in the next 5K, or donate to Generations on the Move, visit the organization online here.