Chantaisa White is serving as the Summer Fellow for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Cleveland.
Chantaisa is a rising sophomore at Ursuline College, where she studies Art Therapy and Counseling. Her hometown is Cleveland, Ohio and she is a graduate of Villa Angela St. Joseph High School. Chantaisa has served as a volunteer with Boys Hope Girls Hope, Youth Challenge, and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. As an intern with the Society for St. Vincent de Paul, she has the opportunity to work with her co-workers to serve those most in need.
Part of Chantaisa’s work has been assisting the office staff at St. Vincent de Paul with organizing the upcoming collections. “Every year, St. Vincent de Paul organizes a back to school collection, which invites parishes in the Cleveland area to participate. I have also been put in charge of calling all of the parishes to see if they are participating in the annual “Blanket Sunday” collection which takes places in October. There are 90 parishes which will participate. All of the blankets collected will go directly to those who are homeless.”
Chantaisa enjoys her Summer Fellow’s experience as she feels able to connect with the staff at St. Vincent de Paul. “Since day one, I have felt like a valued member of the team. We eat lunch together every day and all of the staff works to make sure I am included in the conversation. It has been a great feeling to know that I can relate with my co-workers and they see me as an equal, even as a college student.”
Chantaisa also shared how she values her co-workers listening to her opinion. “I met with a few of my co-workers to talk about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Facebook page and shared a few suggestions. I was surprised by how much my co-workers liked my suggestions and actually decided to implement them. It showed me that no matter how young or old a person is good ideas are valued. That experience helped me realize that I am a leader and I should not be afraid to speak up and share my thoughts.”
Looking ahead to the future, Chantaisa hopes that she will continue to use her voice in order to share her ideas to help others. “Since coming to St. Vincent de Paul, my confidence as a leader has grown. I have learned so much from this experience and hope that I continue to grow more as a leader.”