Service Project: Great MN Schools
Family & Community Outreach for Educational Empowerment
Hello! My name is Erick Castellanos, I am from Minneapolis born and raised. I went to public schools here through most of my life, up until college when I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Data Analytics with a concentration in American Politics and a minor in Applied Statistics. Outside the classroom, I love listening to new music and learning new languages. And when it comes to civic dialogue, I believe strengthening it is our best step forward to getting past the partisan tension in today's America and putting the focus on what matters for the community, while adding them into the equation.
Vibe by 1Team
I first found this song back in Spring 2021. And everytime I listen to this song, I get reminded of
the good moments I had in that school semester and the optimism I had leftover from it.
Especially since the previous semesters have been rough in comparison with COVID, a fight
with depression, and a close family friend's death to cope with. Listening to this song out and
about, doing homework, and working out was one of many things that helped me believe that
things would get better and things would only get better for me.
For the song itself and its lyrics, it is about how the listener should let loose, be themselves,
dance and learn to live in the moment and how it is ultimately worth it.
Still Sane by Lorde
Lorde’s album “Pure Heroine” came out during a very formative time in my life, when I was a teenager coming of age. I listened to this album a lot and I still listen to it even today, because the emotions & themes I feel from the songs have stayed consistent through all the different phases of my life as I’ve grown up. This is a song that resonates a lot with me. For Lorde, it was about her rise to fame at a young age. She reflects on the difficult but rewarding journey she has had to success, working hard to get to where she is. But she also says “I’m not in the swing of things yet”, showing that she isn’t at her peak yet, and has a lot of learning & growing to do still. Similarly, I feel like I have come so far in life and am proud of my accomplishments, but I am nowhere near perfect & have more improving to do. Lorde also says “I’m little but I’m coming for the crown”, which I interpreted as “I’m young and not the most powerful or skilled person, but I’m working my way up to my bigger goals”. That is how I feel at this stage.
Tenderness by Jay Som
This is a bit of a unique addition for this list, but this is a power metal song that tells a story
about the final days of World War 2, and how a German general and his army defied orders to
defend Berlin and instead worked to save over 200,000 refugees by bringing them to the
American occupied area and surrender.
To me, I found this song back in 2014 when it came out, and it is one of my favorite songs from
this band, which regularly makes songs about unique historical stories like this. And with this
song in particular, it reminds me of that optimistic period when I started high school and looking
forward to making a positive impact on people's lives wherever I go, whether it is high school,
college, and beyond.