By Lori Lyn Lirio
COMMONWEALTH of Northern Mariana Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro early this month shared a few nuggets of wisdom to the officers of the Kagman High School Student Council before administering the oath of office to the new set of council officers.
“Think of what you want to be when you grow up and at the same time consider other options,” he told the Stuco officers last September 14, as he asked them about their plans after high school.
“Sometimes you don’t end up with what you want to be when you grow up,” the chief justice said as he shared his own experience – shifting from one career to another, until he found his calling in the legal system.
“If you look at me, I wanted to be a priest. Then I moved to George Washington Senior High School and thought I wanted to be a doctor,” he said.
He came to realized that medicine was not for him when he went in a field trip to Guam Memorial Hospital.
“If you want to be a doctor, you go there. So I went to the hospital, go around it – the wards and everything. Right before lunch, we went into the ground floor where all the specimen were kept – amputated arms, parts of body and even fetus. They have displayed everything there. When I walked out, I told myself ‘I don’t want to be a doctor’,” he said.
He attended the University of Guam and came back to the CNMI to teach. He taught for a year.
“After that, I told myself I want to be a policeman. I became a policeman during the Trust territory.”
As part of his duty, he walked into court, watching and protecting a judge and everybody in the court.
“I saw lawyers, I saw the judge. I said I think I want to be a lawyer. From then on, I am still with the legal system.”
“Do not go to the end of the world that it would take thousands of dollars to go back to your family,” the chief justice said.
“If you are a very homesick person, don’t stay away from the CNMI too far because you would not be able to study. You will not be able to concentrate.”
“Go join the military and go and see the world,” he said, adding “it is very hard for your mom and dad to put food on the table for everybody. Help your parents by getting scholarships or join the military.”
Stuco Vice President Genzo Gonzales said he really appreciate the career advice gave by the chief justice.
“When he was talking about the different career choices he made, it made me think what I want to study [in college].”
He said Chief Justice Castro’s small pep talk made him realized the importance of achieving higher education.
“It made me think that what we do after high school really matters.”