2020 - NEW YORK (ROCHESTER REGION)
Chantel McCrea is a senior at East Rochester High School in East Rochester, New York. Chantel serves as the leader and founder of a group called the Diversity Ambassadors, a group created to promote racial equity as well as understanding in her school and in her community. This program was created following a survey on the racial climate of the school. It revealed a disparity in the responses by the white students and the students of color, showing the students of color felt less understood and accepted within their school than their white counterparts. Since the group's formation, the faculty has become more open and understanding as well as aware of their biases in how they teach and how they interact with their students so all students will be afforded the same opportunities and feel equally welcome. Chantel hopes that the work she is doing will make the school experience for her younger sister different from her own in terms of accepting her blackness. The Diversity Ambassadors have younger leaders who will continue this work after Chantel's graduation. She will be attending Northwestern University in the fall and plans to continue her work there while majoring in political science and linguistics on the pre-law track so she can continue helping communities and campuses around the world.