A seven-year afterschool veteran, Chantell Gonzalez says that one of the things she loves about the field is the rewarding feeling that comes from building those unique relationships with the children and parents and that this feeling is truly like no other. Chantell knows that something as small as saying hello or asking a student how their day is going can make such a huge impact and that is something she always wants to be a part of.
“I feel as though every year I have gained more confidence as an afterschool practitioner.”
– Chantell Gonzalez, Afterschool Professional, Berkshire Elementary Afterschool Program
Chantell decided to take classes in the youth development pathway because she wanted to give herself as many opportunities as possible to make a difference in the education system. She wanted to gain more knowledge and skills to better herself in this field and have the opportunity to reach future career goals. Chantell started taking classes outlined on the credit pathway at Palm Beach State College through the Prime Time scholarship program and after a couple semesters obtained her Youth Development College Credit Certificate. She then continued with coursework to obtain an Associate Degree in Human Services-Youth Development, set to complete in August 2022. Her plans include continuing her education by pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services.
“The scholarship has given me the opportunity to receive an education that was uncertain at a time in my life due to financial issues, so for that, I am forever grateful! The ACHIEVE incentive has also helped me to pay off debt as well as grow my savings for my future. Prime Time has been a blessing in many ways!”
Chantell states that through education she has grown immensely over the years and is able to be a role model and mentor for youth. She has been able to implement different forms of engagement, communication and organization in her work.
“My experience in afterschool has truly been a blessing. I started in this field when I was freshly 18 and now seven years later, I am an assistant site director at the afterschool program where it all started. I have grown beyond words, and I am so grateful for those who I have worked under and learned from. I have accomplished so many things throughout these years and I am so excited for what’s to come in the future.”