Redmond High graduate Casto has made an impact on the community

A potential future Redmond mayor has just graduated from high school.

Levi Casto, 18, is already participating in local government and even walked in the recent Derby Days parade while waving to the crowd as the recipient of this year’s Derby Do Gooder Scholarship.

Casto, who is part of the city stakeholders group focused on the community centers plan, said he’d like to go the politician route after college and possibly law school. Stepping into the mayoral realm is “on my radar,” he added.

Presented by Waste Management, the annual Derby Do Gooder Scholarship goes to a Redmond High senior who “has made a difference in our community through service and volunteerism,” according to the city. Casto’s scholarship is worth $1,500.

“Levi’s dedication to the Redmond Teen Center and passion for the Redmond Youth Advisory Board &Advocacy is sure to leave an impact for generations to come,” said City of Redmond Events and Marketing Coordinator Sarah Webb.

“It feels good to be recognized for something that I love doing. I do feel humbled by it,” Casto said.

Casto, who plans to study political science, pre-law and economics when he enters the University of Washington campus in the fall, got involved in local politics through his longtime involvement with the Redmond Old Fire House Teen Center. That’s where the community centers plan comes into play since he wants to be part of shaping the city’s future in that area.

He feels the teen center is a stellar resource for the city, and spending tons of time within its walls has positively affected his life.

At the teen center, kids can explore their interests — advocacy, music, arts, sports and more — form friendships and learn about each other’s cultural backgrounds.

“The (teen center) friendships are one of the coolest things. You get to hang out with people who you wouldn’t normally get to see. Whatever social barriers people might imagine in school don’t exist at the Fire House,” said Casto, who once hosted a juggling class at the teen center.

For his Eagle Scout project, Casto — who has received five other local scholarships — built 12 stackable, portable planter boxes at the teen center.

Casto’s mother, Frankie, said he was excited to meet Redmond Mayor John Marchione at Derby Days. She’s thrilled with what Levi is doing in the community, and he’ll also be a course director/staff member at the upcoming Boy Scouts National Youth Leadership Training sessions at Camp Sheppard near Greenwater.

“I think what drives Levi toward being a do-gooder is that I genuinely believe Levi acts out of the passion for the community he serves,” she said.

“I’m consistently impressed with his dedication to advocating the interests of teenagers, and I can’t wait to see where he takes his drive next. Levi realizes that no matter how big the world may be, he can make a difference.”

Levi added with a smile that receiving the Derby Do Gooder Scholarship is a challenge for him to step up even more to help the community.

“It’s more of a kickstart than a retirement,” he laughed. “I’m just getting started.”