Spotlight Story

06 October 2021

Intertwined Passions – MANO Alumni Finds a Future Career with the USFS

Category: Spotlight Story

“I believe in prioritizing making space for diversity in the workforce.” 

While looking for internships, Izabel Castellano found herself debating where she wanted to head in her career. She had a deep passion for visual art and graphic design, but she also knew she wanted to make meaningful change through her work. 

Castellano found the MANO Project, and realized there was a possibility of incorporating her love for graphic design into a field where she could help create social change. Castellano was first hired as a Graphic Design Resource Assistant for the U.S Forest Service in the Rocky Mountain Regional Office through the MANO Project in September 2020 and was extended until August 2021. 

Castellano’s internship is a part of the partnership between the US Forest Service (USFS) and Hispanic Access Foundation hoping to support the next generation of conservation and environmental stewards through the Resource Assistant Program (RAP). Hispanic Access will continue to build a strong community of inspired, skilled, motivated Latino leaders, like Castellano. 

“Through the MANO Project I have fostered a large group of peers, friends, and my dream career,” said Castellano. “The guidance and support of the MANO Project is irreplaceable and crucial for the growth of the organizations they serve.” 

After her year-long internship as a Graphic Design Resource Assistant, Castellano was hired full time as an Information Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, also in the Rocky Mountain Regional Office. In this new position, she is able to connect her passion for social change with visual design and utilize her affection for people, the environment, and narrative to create meaningful change through her work. 

“Not only did I turn my artistic ability into a career, but now I work for an organization that represents ideals that I’m passionate about. It’s truly been a dream come true.” 

Visit to learn more about the MANO Project and current internship and fellowship opportunities. 

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Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

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