BRYAN, Texas — A&M students are all exceptional in their own way.
For one Aggie alum, success means continuing her journey to an ivy league grad school, all while starting her own business to help herself and her community grow.
Ariana Castillo is an Aggie with a passion for meteorology.
Before graduating in December of 2019, she presented her research as an intern for NASA to the American Meteorological Society.
“I got accepted into their student airborne research program, and so I was able to do campaign work around airplanes, go on a mini field campaign on a boat in the Santa Barbara channel off the coast of California.”
But in the fall of 2018, after her field work, Ariana did some introspection.
“I had some issues with mental health, so I took a break because taking breaks are good. When I withdrew from school, I put myself in a treatment center for mental health. I did a whole bunch of therapies, one in particular that stood out to me was art therapy,” she said.
Ariana leaned into art, so much so that she kept at it while finishing her degree, and now, it’s an essential part of her life.
“I started putting stuff together and posting it. Being a college student, money’s really tight, so I was like, you know what, I could probably sell my art for some money and its really good for my health and the community, supporting local businesses.”
Her page, Lattes n Letters Co. Has her handmade water colored cards for sale, and while it started out as a way to get by before grad school at Harvard this fall, it's meant so much more.
“Art plays a big role in how our minds work," Ariana said, "and with science you need creativity. And combining art and stem is just integral.”
As she makes more art, Ariana hopes to cater to STEM majors with her work, making cards to congratulate others on defending their thesis or presenting their work.
“Things change embrace the change it’s okay if things don’t go as planned. Because if you keep at it and you keep up the dedication and passion, you’ll get to where you need to be and where you’ll be happy.”
If you’re interested in getting something from Ariana’s Etsy shop, you can find her pieces for sale here.