When Yolanda Castillo started working at Rainbows in 2000, she didn’t consider the possibility that her experience with children with special needs would someday help her in her family life. “When my granddaughter, Micah Luna, was diagnosed with autism, my experience working with children similar to her allowed me to help her and my son to better understand and meet her needs in ways we wouldn’t have known about,” said Yolanda. “I am able to be a better grandmother and mother.”
Prior to working at Rainbows, Yolanda volunteered at a Wichita elementary school where she discovered her passion to work with children. A good friend who happened to be a neighbor had a child who attended Rainbows. Yolanda would see the Rainbows’ bus come by the home to pick him up and transport him to the facility. She asked her friend about Rainbows and the friend’s review was so warm and positive that Yolanda applied for a position.
Now a Teacher Assistant, Yolanda’s days are filled with arts and crafts, exploring the nature garden, reading books and doing all sorts of activities that make learning a fun and educational experience for Rainbows’ children.
“Seeing where the children start, how much they grow and the strides they make with us in a safe and loving environment is my favorite part of my job,” said Yolanda. “It all starts as a seed we’ve planted that will eventually completely blossom.”
“Having a staff member who is well-rounded and experienced like Yolanda is truly a blessing for Rainbows,” said Michelle Croomes, Early Care and Education Program Coordinator. “She is always soft-spoken and kind with the children and her co-workers. The real surprise is how funny she is when she does speak up!”
“I have a lot of good memories at Rainbows and feel very fortunate to have worked beside and become good friends with my colleagues,” said Yolanda. “I am grateful to be a part of a place that truly cares about the children and their families’ wellbeing.”
Yolanda and her husband of 22 years have 4 wonderful children and their beautiful granddaughter, Micah Luna. Yolanda enjoys hikes and nature walks, cooking and dancing while listening to her music, and attending her children and granddaughter’s sporting events.
“Anything surrounded by my family makes me the happiest,” she said. “I feel very blessed to have a very active, affectionate and open relationship with all of them. I love and care for them deeply and feel that in return from them.”