Meet Ismael Castillo Danforth

By Joan Frances –

Ismael Castillo Danforth

As a senior at Travis High School, Ismael Castillo Danforth is a vibrant role model to his peers. He has a strong ability to mediate conflicts among others by utilizing diplomacy and humor. He is proficient in leading his peers, both in large groups and in one-on-one settings. He has earned respect from his teachers and is looking forward to a meaningful, rewarding career.

Danforth has taken Advanced Placement (AP) classes throughout his high school career and is a member of the National Honor Society. He is an Academic All-District, Academic All-Regional and Academic All-State award winner.

Danforth’s favorite teacher is Dr. Ratna Gupta, who teaches Anatomy and Physiology. “She is an exceptional teacher in every aspect and connected with each and every student, enabling us to learn concepts with ease. She not only cares for her students in the classroom, but outside of the classroom as well. She celebrated each of our successes, lifted us up in our failing moments and always encouraged us to be the best version of ourselves.”

For the past two years, Danforth has been an AMBUSH Mentor, guiding and supporting 9th graders during the entire school year through life skills training and community building activities. He is also a third-year varsity captain of the swim team. His leadership skills are commendable. “I have had the privilege of being a varsity swim team captain at my high school for three years. At times, balancing classwork, training and my responsibilities as captain could be challenging, but also immensely fulfilling. I love leading my team and it has been amazing to watch us grow as a unit and to be a part of supporting my teammates in reaching their goals. I have really enjoyed every single minute of being captain. I will cherish those moments for years to come – except 5:30 am practices. Those I will miss less!”

One value Danforth lives by is faith in God. “I do my best to live out my faith by showing kindness, loyalty and grace in all aspects of my life. It is easy to say but much harder to do. Offering grace and forgiveness freely is not easy, being loyal even when you don’t want to can be a real challenge, and sharing kindness daily requires a conscious decision in every interaction you have. But the rewards are worth the effort!”

Danforth’s years at Travis High School are filled with diverse people with whom he was able to form friendships. “When you walk down the halls of my school, you are surrounded by people of every race, color, faith, gender, sexual orientation and political affiliation. It seems that at times the world around us is filled with discord, but in the halls of Travis High School, everyone is valued for who they are. I know that will not be the case in all my future interactions, so I am thankful I was able to experience it so fully these past four years.”

In addition to Danforth’s commitments to his school, he is an elected member and youth representative for the Churchwide Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The Churchwide Council is the National Board of Directors of the ELCA, which gives him the oversight and voice of nearly four million members. He will be attending the University of Virginia as a Posse Scholar with a four-year full tuition scholarship.

Congratulations Ismael Castillo Danforth on your incredible accomplishments, ambition and leadership skills. Good luck as you take the next step to a very successful future.