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Stuart Haruyama
Feb 5, 2016

Paying it Forward

Feb 5, 2016 by Stuart Haruyama

Chantal is a member of the Leadership & Community Engagement [LACE] Fellowship, which is a 300 hour leadership program combining community service, critical reflection, and leadership training. The Fellowship is an opportunity for RISD students to learn more about the local Providence area and experience how their art & design training can be utilized for the betterment of their communities. Fellows also receive a $1,200 education stipend at the conclusion of the program.

My name is Chantal Feitosa, and I’m from Queens, New York! I am currently a sophomore in Film/Animation/Video with a concentration in Race, Gender, and Sexuality. I’m interested in political activism, interacting with youth, and making work that creates a dialogue around issues of cultural and racial identity. 

For my fellowship, I have been working at Rhode Island for Community and Justice. I participate in their Youth Action Council as a film mentor and will be helping them create a short documentary project on activism in the local community throughout the school year. I also assist their office with searching and contacting possible donors and sponsors for their summer camp program, Project Respect, which focuses on engaging teens of different backgrounds from Rhode Island on social justice issues. 

During my time at RICJ, I’ve been able to learn a lot about how non-profits operate and serve the community, while the classes and work I engage with beyond the organization have offered me different perspectives on how to be a leader in the community and enact social change.   

I wanted to join the LACE fellowship because I knew it would challenge me to go beyond the RISD campus to learn more about Providence and the opportunities being offered to its youth. As a high school student, non-profit programs left a huge impact on me and offered valuable resources and skills I couldn’t find elsewhere. Working at cites like RICJ and advocating for inclusion and diversity within RISD have placed me in a position where I feel like I can continue to pay forward the opportunities that I was once granted, no matter how big or small my role is.