April Hernandez Castillo
Actor | Speaker | Author
Best known for her riveting performance as "Eva" in the hit movie, Freedom Writers, starring Hilary Swank, April Hernandez Castillo was living the Hollywood dream. She starred on tv shows such as; Person of Interest, Law & Order: SVU, Dexter, and New Amsterdam, to name a few. However, behind the glitz and glamor was a woman dealing secretly with a traumatic past.
April's inspirational story of resilience, overcoming adversity, and choosing to move forward no matter what happens in life is a message that resonates with audiences across the globe. In her keynote entitled, Moving Forward, April intimately describes how she was able to take all her tragedies and turn them into triumphs by choosing to never give up.
From growing up in the tough streets of the Bronx during the Crack Epidemic Era to being in an abusive relationship as a teenager, to almost taking her own life, April truly understands what it feels like when the odds are up against you. To move forward in life, we must first make a choice to do so.
"My life dramatically changed when I made two critical decisions during my abuse. I made a choice to leave, and I made a choice to live."
Understanding her platform as an actor and speaker have allowed April to grace an array of audiences all the way from Juvenile detention facilities to one of the most prestigious stages to date, TEDx.
Her message has reached thousands of students and conferences nationwide and internationally. April is also an author set to release her highly anticipated work, her memoir, Embracing Me.
One of her favorite quotes is from the movie "Rocky."
"It's not how hard you hit. It's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take, and keep moving forward; that's how winning is done." - Rocky