AC JosepH Media
MAYS LANDING — Atlantic Cape Community College announced this month that Lizbeth Castro-James, an Atlantic Cape alum, has been named the new director of the college’s Worthington Atlantic City campus.
An Ecuador native who graduated from Atlantic City High School as well as Atlantic Cape in 2009, was appointed to the post on Dec. 5.
“We are very excited and fortunate to welcome Lizbeth Castro-James, an Atlantic Cape alumna, to the Atlantic Cape family as she brings a wealth of professional and personal experience to this position,” Atlantic Cape President Dr. Barbara Gaba said.
“Her knowledge of the greater Atlantic City region is valuable in telling the Atlantic Cape story on a personal level as she outreaches across Atlantic County to our residents.”
A first-generation college student, Castro-James perform the role of family translator growing up with both English and Spanish. She spent many hours and days at the Spanish Community Center, which played a vital role in fostering her love for the community.
She earned her associate’s degree in psychology from Atlantic Cape in 2009 and then her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in forensics and criminal justice from Stockton University in 2012.
Castro-James worked with the Atlantic City Board of Education for 10 years, six of those as the district community parental involvement specialist for the preschool program. She also worked as a Title I ESL teacher instructing English to students from many different cultural backgrounds.
She returned to the Atlantic Cape campus this past October.
“A friend of mine told me that the job was available,” she said. “I looked at it, I read the qualifications and I knew this is me. I said to myself if this isn’t a higher power telling me that my calling is to share my gift with young adults and families.”
Atlantic City’s Worthington campus, located at 1535 Bacharach Boulevard, is in the heart of downtown Atlantic City. The 20,000-square-foot facility that is home to specialized programs, such as the Casino Career Institute (CCI), Health Professions Institute (HPI), Institute for Service Excellence (ISE), English as a Second Language (ESL) and features two Academy of Culinary Arts teaching kitchens and a hydroponic greenhouse.
“It is very exciting for me to have the opportunity to speak to the parents, to tell them their child can get into Atlantic Cape because look where I started from and look where I am now,” Castro-James said.
“If I can excite families that have come from different parts of the world, who don’t know if they can make it, and if I can be used as an example, why not?”
Castro-James said she envisions utilizing her years of community outreach experience to personally speak to the culturally-diverse communities throughout the greater Atlantic City region about all of the programs that Atlantic Cape has to offer.
“I want to see so many more of our youth from the Atlantic City region attending our campus, especially if they do not know what they want to do after high school,” Castro-James said. “It’s important to continue to grow our community relationships through outreach, events, campus tours and athletics to get students into school and to stay in school.”
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