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The American Dreamer
Karina Timmel | Photo: Colby Blount | October 23, 2013
For this local philanthropist, giving back to the community goes hand in hand with serious success.
Compassion and goodwill are a way of life for Miguel Castillo. As a professional basketball player in his native country of Venezuela, he worked with the government to create a “dream week” for his extremely underprivileged community. “There were 800 people crying at the same time,” says Castillo, as he recounts the gratitude of those who received the chance to enjoy unique experiences, such as an amusement park pass for a day or the gift of a new bicycle. The beloved program was never replicated, unfortunately, once dictator Hugo Chávez took office. Just prior to Chávez’s 1998 election, Castillo left everything in his native land to move his family to the United States for a fresh start.
As Atlanta focused on building out its suburbs post-1996 Olympics, Castillo’s entrepreneurial spirit saw opportunity. “There were a lot of houses being built, but hardly any painting companies,” he says. And so, Castle Painting was born.
At the time, Castillo knocked on doors and distributed thousands of flyers by hand to get his business off the ground. Now more than a decade later, his company has grown into the go-to luxury home-painter resource for Atlanta’s celebrity and socialite set.
“Working with local charities means you can see the direct impact on the children,” says Castillo, who, with his wife, Laura, launched CastleCares. The program supports multiple children’s organizations in Atlanta, such as Bert’s Big Adventure, Make-A-Wish and local elementary schools.
Next up: a partnership with Usher’s New Look, which helps build future leaders through a mentorship and educational program. “To be able to give back after coming here with basically nothing and building a successful business means a lot,” admits Castillo.
Boating on Lake Oconee, Cibo e Beve, community, homemade arepas, gray paint palettes, no drama, Matt Ryan
Brown cabinets, carpet, lead paint, selfishness, lazy people, negativity