Name: Emily Chantre
Host Site: Blackstone Academy Charter School
Where did you go to school? Providence College
What are your personal and professional interests?
Personally, I would love to write a book one day. I want to get my work out there and have people know my work. In relation to this goal, I want to complete my Masters of Fine Arts for Creative Writing. I want to try working on the pieces I need for applications this year so that I can be in a program sooner than later.
Professionally, I am working on getting my certification to teach. After completing City Year, I realized that I wanted to be in the classroom and make a difference. I’m not sure whether I prefer middle or high school, but I’m leaning toward 6th grade. By the time I get to student teach, I hope I’m able to figure that out.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation! To have the ability to go wherever I want, whenever I want would be amazing! There are so many places I would love to see and learn more about. Being able to do that without having to pay for gas, a bus, train or plane? Count me in!
Tell us your Story of Service: why you choose to serve? How do you think you are impacting poverty?
As my college graduation approached, I had no idea what career path I wanted to choose and that scared me. I needed to come up with a plan and fast; my solution ended up being service. At a career fair at Providence College, I stopped at the City Year table and fell in love with the idea of being a tutor. Best of all, I was able to serve in a community I was familiar with. Since I had a great experience, I thought I would bring my skills to a VISTA service year.
I was lucky enough to get placed at Blackstone Academy, which provides a different kind of high school experience than what I am familiar with. My position is the College Access Unlimited, which means that my goal is to increase the school’s capacity to guide students (and their families) toward affordable and successful postsecondary experiences. Since Blackstone serves a community affected by poverty, I hope my role can help ease the strains that families face, especially when it concerns first-generation students. In addition to that, I am learning so much about the college application journey and I think students should start thinking about college as earlier as possible.
Blackstone has a unique environment and encourages students through their journey. A common phrase that is said here is: It’s not if you’re going to college, it’s where. This doesn’t just encompass students who choose to pursue college, but also those who decide on something different. The important thing is that students are moving on from high school with solid goals. I think my role helps with this culture because I schedule the college visits. Each grade has a certain number of visits that they have to attend, so it gets them thinking right from freshmen year. This year I have tried to schedule as many as I can and at a variety of schools in the local area.
Another part of my role that I find important is connecting the school to other organizations in order to expand on partnerships. Blackstone is in the middle of expanding, which means that they will have to change some of the ways they do things. One way to help with that is to take advantage of the community around us. There are programs in place that our students can take advantage of and I hope I can start that process. With a bigger school, it will get harder to spread our resources. There’s only so much help we can offer in a small space. I hope to help begin building on those resources and coming up with systems that will support a bigger student body.