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October 03, 2011

WiLDCOAST Staff Member Diane Castaneda is a "30 Under 30 San Diego County Leader"

Congratulations to Conservation Program Coordiantor Diane Castaneda.


30 Under 30 San Diego County Leader No. 3: Diane Castaneda

This young leader discovered her passion for the environment at an early age.


Having lived a few blocks from the beach for most of her life, 26-year-old Diane Castaneda was aware of her passion for conservation early on.

Castaneda, a program coordinator for the nonprofit WiLDCOAST, began as a volunteer, then an intern and eventually worked her way up to her current gig.

Modesty aside, Castaneda already has a hefty resume.

"I have had many accomplishments during my career at WiLDCOAST. I took part in the process to adopt a network of Marine Protected Areas in the South Coast of California, which is a historical accomplishment also for California," she said. "But I think my biggest accomplishment was working with a group of amazing fifth-graders from (Coronado) Village Elementary."

She said after the kids created sea turtle murals for the San Diego Airport, she received "thank you" letters from each child.

"To know I had inspired them was truly a victory for me," said Castaneda, who often finds inspiration from her parents.

Advice for young people:

"It sounds so cliché but to never give up! Real leaders are the ones that keep fighting for what they believe in even when they are being pulled back. They never stop moving forward. And do what makes you happy and always with a smile on your face."

For original article please click here.