2022 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner: Distinguished Achievement
Genny Castillo (08C)
With notable experience in politics, community outreach, education, event planning and administration, Genny Castillo has built a reputation as an effective leader who gets things done. Currently regional engagement director for the Southern Economic Advancement Project, she is responsible for coordinating local programming that brings the project to the people. Her career started in 2011 when she became a legislative aid in the office of Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. Within three months, Genny was promoted to director of caucus services for the House Democratic Caucus and director of constituent services for House District 89. Over the next six years, she provided support for community leaders and helped legislators coordinate over 300 statewide events.
A key success was the creation of the House Caucus' Internship Program. Genny led in developing a program allowing students and recent graduates to become involved into the Georgia political space and policy development. The program graduated over 400 students prepared to work in politics across the United States; many of them ran for elected positions. This program still stands as the most diverse and largest internship program of any legislative body in the South.
In 2018, Genny became a senior advisor to the Stacey Abrams Gubernatorial Campaign and was promoted to Latinx constituency director. She led one of the most successful Latinx constituency programs in the country, pairing weekly in-language voter contact events with innovative voter engagement efforts. Her strategies led to a 213.39% increase in voter turnout within the Latinx community. Through her work with SEAP, Genny focuses on bridging gaps for community members and policy impact. She coordinates local programming and leads the #SouthStrong Initiative, focused on developing policy, narrative change and civic engagement in a post-pandemic South. She also works to develop convenings on supporting Black Farmers in the South. Additionally, she serves as CEO of BLUE Institute, the premier training program to prepare young people of color for the leadership of campaigns in the South and Southwest. Genny prides herself on being accessible and has a personal mission statement to "Help those that want to help."
A lead Latinx community builder for the State of Georgia, Genny has been invited to join national groups on the discussion and mobilization of voters. She worked with the Latino Victory Fund to set up Latinx bus tours in 2018 and 2021. These tours were supportive of the Latinx voting block and headlined by international celebrities.
Genny's numerous accolades include an honorable mention finish on the list of the 50 Most Influential Latinos of Georgia by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She was an education leadership fellow for the Georgia Partnership of Excellence in Education and received the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Hispanic and Young Professional Entrepreneurs' Leadership Award. Crooked Media highlighted her as one of "Five women who are reshaping how we do politics in the U.S." during Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Find out how to nominate a Berry alum for a Distinguished Alumni award here.