Jaysen Castillo: Infectious Smile

Sonic Mejias

Whenever Jaysen walks into a room, you can see big, wide smiles, as if people forget whatever was bothering them. By using his energy to turn everyone’s mood around, he makes people enjoy life even just a bit more. 

However, under this undeniably bright smile, there’s alot he’s been through. Jaysen lives in the south end of Hartford. In this area, there is a lot of violence, and you’re kind of stuck constantly looking over your shoulder, trying to keep yourself safe. He mentions how one time, when he was only 14, he got shot at. “Ever since then, I’ve been looking at life in a type of way where you only live once,” he says. “You might as well live the type of life you want to live, do what you want to do.” 

It’s because of experiences like these that he wants to make people smile and laugh as much as he can. Oftentimes, he tries to read the mood in the room. “I don’t really like it when people are down because it ruins your emotions,” he says. “You waste time when you’re down and feeling negative.” Jaysen wants people to feel like they can rely on him, to give them someone to lean on when they’re going through something tough. To do this, he treats everyone like family. There are plenty of opportunities where you can see him calling other people brother or sister, treating their parents like his, and just blending into other people’s lives. 

Right now, Jaysen spends his time on the weekends drumming as a part of a drumline. He is a bass drummer, as a part of Magic Soul. This drumline practices every Saturday in East Hartford, but in his own time, Jaysen works on his technique and betters himself. He uses this art form to not only improve his skill in drumming, but to open up opportunities for himself. This drumline has an instructor who teaches mainly as part of the drumline at Clinton College, so this can give him a scholarship. It also helps him with his ADHD, because it gives him a chance to focus down on something. Overall, Jaysen is a bright star that helps others, even if he is hurting and down himself.