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A Moving Speech From a Newly Minted Muni Operator

Friday, February 26, 2016

Juan Castillo stands with his Muni operator certificate alongside SFMTA leaders.

Juan Castillo delivered a moving speech at his recent training class graduation at Presidio Division. From L-R: Doniki Dudley, Ce Qiang fu, Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin, Juan Castillo, Ken Anderson, Sarita Britt and Director of Human Resources Don Ellison (Photo: SFMTA)

 

“It is during times of success that people will know our name, and it is during times of trouble that people will know our character.”

Those were the words of newly minted transit operator Juan Castillo as he addressed his colleagues at their recent training class graduation at Presidio Division.

“The foundation has now been laid for our career,” Castillo said. “We are equipped to take on the world.”

It was a moving speech that embodied the call to public service, personal dedication and strength of teamwork that reflect the best of the SFMTA.

Quoting Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung and the late poet laureate Maya Angelou, Castillo called on his fellow graduates to avoid complacency and to build on the strong foundation that has been laid for their future.

With training in their “rear view mirror,” Castillo said: “Now our lives and our career with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency are ours to create.”

He was an inspiration.

“I wanted to motivate my colleagues to do more than they think they possibly can,” Castillo said later.

Castillo, who was selected by his graduating class to deliver their commencement speech during the Feb. 19 graduation ceremony, impressed not only his colleagues but Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin and Training Manager Paul Petersen, who both attended the event.

During his remarks, Castillo called his operator training class experience the most challenging endeavor of his career — more challenging, he added later, than his college experience or previous police academy training. He emphasized the importance each person has in creating one’s own positive and meaningful change.

“The course that you set is determined by the choices that you make each day,” he told his graduating class. “Carl Jung said, ‘Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.’ ”

Juan Castillo is currently assigned to Kirkland Division.

Smiling Muni operator graduates stand in front of an old Muni coach at the Presidio Division facility.

 

Muni's new graduating class. (Photo: SFMTA)