Do you or your children play sports in Lynwood? If so, you probably know Jesus Castro, a fixture at the City of Lynwood Recreation and Community Services Department. He may have been your child’s baseball coach, recruited you to play in the adult leagues or played against him on the City’s sports fields. In short, Mr. Castro is the heart of the City of Lynwood’s sports programs.
A native of Lynwood, Mr. Castro spent his childhood in the City’s schools and graduated from Lynwood High School. He first encountered the City’s recreation department through the afterschool program, where he played football and other sports. Little did he know that participating in this program would lead him to his career.
While at Cerritos College and later California State University Dominguez Hills, he worked part-time for the Lynwood Recreation and Community Service Department as an entry-level Recreation Leader and has been promoted while working in several areas including the Youth Center and overseeing the sport aspect of the after-school program. He later joined as a full-time employee as the Facility & Program Supervisor for the Sports Division.
He’s now been with the City for 18 years and is currently responsible for developing and producing all youth and adult sports programs, which involve more than 5,000 residents. He is also responsible for maintaining all the City’s athletic fields and manages operations at the Lynwood Community Center.
Because he is specially trained in athletic field maintenance, Mr. Castro directs and coordinates Lynwood’s major park maintenance with the City’s Public Works Department. He is also involved in emergency shelter operations as the City’s community center buildings are designated public shelters during major emergencies.
What he enjoys most about his job is the sense of community in Lynwood. He sees generations of Lynwood families participate in the City’s sports and recreation activities. “I just coached my son’s baseball team with a kid whose mom went to HS with me,” he said. “I see people here that I grew up with. I get kids of friends who I grew up with since kindergarten.”
And that gives him motivation to do the great job he’s doing. “I’ve never seen it as a job. I come here and I organize and create programs and work with staff. It’s coming to the place where I grew up and a place that I like.”
July is National Parks Make Life Better Month. Jesus Castro makes life in Lynwood better every month.