Sal Castro Middle School

Sal Castro Middle School

Welcome

Welcome to the GEAR UP office at Sal Castro Middle School.  We serve the classes of 2024 and 2025 with the goal of increasing college and career readiness for our students.  Our mission is to empower our GEAR UP students and their communities to realize their potential and turn dreams into diplomas.  We achieve this by delivering a high-quality and comprehensive array of service including parent/student workshops, field trips, tutoring, counseling and peer mentoring and academic advising.  Our office is located in the West Wing of Belmont High School in Room 236 and is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  We welcome our GEAR UP students and families to our office with open arms.  Please feel free to stop by to see us!

  • Contact GEARUP
  • Belmont HS, West Wing, Room 236
  • Cell Phone: (213) 760-3563

Our Staff

  • Barbara Goodwin

    Coordinator

    • College: Rice University
    • Favorite Movie: School of Rock
    • Favorite Food: Tater tots
    • Biggest Influence: My biggest influence was living in Mexico City for six years when I was in high school. I learned to see the world from a broader perspective and learned a new language and appreciation for a different culture.
    • Why I LOVE My Job: I love the GEAR UP vision to break down barriers and empower
      students and families. I love that every member of the GEAR UP family works together towards that vision every day.
  • Casey Weld

    Coordinator

    • College: Occidental College
    • Favorite Movie: Belly
    • Favorite Food: Buffalo Chicken
    • My biggest influence: As a person with a deep interest in philosophy, the biggest influence on my thoughts, my worldview, and my morals, is Karl Marx.
    • Why I love my job:  I love my job because I believe in the power of the GEAR UP Equity Warrior. I believe that for true equity we need to even the scales by empowering our students to earn degrees and climb professional echelons, thus adding more diverse perspectives in decision-making positions and creating generational wealth in historically-marginalized communities.
  • Karla Marquez

    Counselor

    • College: University of California, Riverside
    • Graduate School: NYU & CSULA
    • Favorite Movie: Cinema Paradiso, the sweetest movie ever!
    • Favorite Food: I have so many! I love all things soups like Pho, Pozole, Menudo etc. But if I had to choose a specific cuisine it would be all things Asian and Mexican.
    • My biggest influence: My mother is my biggest influence when it comes to my work ethic, my college counselor heavily influenced my desire to be a counselor, and my high school history teacher influenced me in pursuing a career in education. They are all wonderful influential women.
    • Why I love my job: Because it’s the best! I get to help students reach their goal, and sometimes reach goals they never thought of. I love motivating students reach their potential and dream big!
  • Rodrigo Gonzalez

    Academic Advisor

    • College: Cal State Northridge
    • Favorite Movie: Pixar movies (except Planes, Cars 2 & 3)
    • Favorite Food: Ramen and Sushi
    • My biggest influence: I would say my mother – she encourages me to continue and keep striving for success.
    • Why I love my job:  I love my job because I get to make a difference and give low-income youth the opportunity to tap into their potential and contribution they can make in this world.
  • Lisseth Velasquez

    Academic Advisor

    • College: CSUN
    • Favorite Movie: White Chicks
    • Favorite Food: Pasta
    • My biggest influence: My biggest influence is my family, specifically my younger siblings.  They motivate me to be the best version of myself every day.
    • Why I love my job: I love my job because I love giving back to my community and the youth.  I love seeing students flourish in their academics and in their personal life.  I love empowering students and reminding them of their worth and what they are capable of doing.