Actor, Speaker, and Author

April Hernandez Castillo
Speaking Fee: $20,000 to $30,000

Travels From: NYC - New York City

Primary Topic Category: Inspiration / Motivation / Overcoming Obstacles

Secondary Topic Category: Mental Health / Wellness / Self-Help

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April Hernandez Castillo At A Glance:

April is best known for her performance as “Eva” in Freedom Writers. Her inspirational story of resilience, overcoming adversity, and choosing to move forward is a message that resonates with audiences across the globe. In her keynote entitled, Moving Forward, April intimately describes how she was able to take all her tragedies and turn them into triumphs by choosing to never give up. Form growing up in the tough streets of the Bronx during the Crack Epidemic Era, to being in an abusive relationship as a teenager, to almost taking her own life, April truly understands what it feels like when the odds are up against you.

April Hernandez Castillo’s dream became a reality when she booked her first commercial as the “Yo girl” in the Visa Check Card spot starring Yao Ming and Yogi Berra. The commercial would air for the Super Bowl and become a sports classic. April then starred in television shows such as; Law & Order: SVU, The Following, Person of Interest, and Elementary. April garnered a recurring role on Showtime’s Dexter which she was nominated for a SAG nomination for Best Ensemble cast. April is most noted for her powerful portrayal as “Eva Benitez” in the hit movie Freedom Writers starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank. She also has worked on NBC’s popular shows- New Amsterdam, Prodigal Son, and Gossip Girl.

April has also graced a different stage as a public speaker. Her message of resilience, overcoming adversity, and the ability to move beyond trauma has taken April on a journey across the United States and internationally. She is reaching an array of audiences ranging from high schools, universities, conferences, and corporate events. April has spoken on some of the most prestigious stages starting from Harvard University, Q Conference to her most significant stage to date, TEDx.

April released her second book, a memoir titled “ Embracing Me”, a heartfelt, transparent, and witty memoir that explores April’s story of being a survivor of intimate partner violence with the understanding that; we all possess the power to rewrite our story. She takes the audience behind the scenes to some of the most intimate parts of her life. April uses her voice to ignite, empower, and educate her audiences with a dash of humor!

She currently lives in NYC with her husband and two beautiful daughters. They own a production company called LionChaser Media, Inc.

  • The Gift of Transparency

    April experienced severe postpartum depression after her first pregnancy. After dealing with feelings of guilt and shame, her therapist suggested she begin operating in full transparency about the difficulties of motherhood. It changed her life forever.

    Key Takeaways:

    - Transparency is about Ownership
    - Stop Guilt and Shame from Owning Your Daily Decisions
    - How to Embrace Your Truth
  • Their Crisis, My Recovery

    April's parents secretly dealt with drug addiction when she was a child. It wasn't until years later that this "family secret" would be revealed, and it would significantly impact April's life. Feelings of doubt and anxiety would follow her for many years until she could finally accept the truth about her family.

    Key Takeaways:

    - The Trauma of Silence
    - How children go Unseen and Unheard in Families with Addiction
    - Recovery is Possible

  • Love Does Not Abuse

    According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 10 high school students will experience some form of intimate partner violence. From 16 to 19, April endured physical, emotional, and verbal abuse from her partner. She has toured the nation, speaking about the effects of abuse amongst the youth. Abuse can affect anyone.

    Key Takeaways:

    - Real Love Doesn’t Abuse
    - Recognizing the Signs of Abuse
    - You have the Power to Speak Up
  • The Power of Embracing Yourself

    Learning to embrace one's past mistakes, failures, and traumas takes tremendous courage and bravery. What if you faced your fears, doubt, and pain head-on instead of running away? Learning to embrace yourself no matter what; is truly freeing. April transparently shares how anyone can fully embrace who they are.

    Key Takeaways:

    - Discover the Process of Embracing Your Story
    - How to Make your Mess into a Powerful Message
    - Self Acceptance is the First Step
April Hernandez Castillo spoke at the closing session in Denver at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conference. Her ability to accurately assess the mood of the audience and share her story in a way that was engaging, informative, and also with humor was amazing. She is a powerful speaker and has a story of trauma, sadness, recovery, and victory all in one presentation. I highly recommend her for any domestic violence awareness events.

— RITA SMITH-INTERNATIONAL EXPERT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

April was a featured speaker at Texas State University, and not only did she offer a unique perspective on the importance of having an entrepreneurial mindset in the entertainment industry, but she made a long-lasting impression on students. In fact, she related so well that many students were overcome with emotion when talking with her later at the book signing. I hope we can have her back again soon so future students can learn from her experiences!

— DR. JOSH DASPIT- ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY

We’re going on 22 years…and my wife never ceases to amaze me. Her gift for storytelling and connecting with the human soul are the reasons why I fell in love with her.

— ZALO CASTILLO, DOCUMENTARIAN | LIONCHASER FILMS, INC.

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