Meet the Richmond Promise Scholars, a growing movement of hundreds of students from Richmond and North Richmond who are currently attending over 100 colleges and universities. They are beneficiaries of the Richmond Promise college preparedness, scholarship and guidance program, which is part of a $35 million, 10-year investment by Chevron to help make college more affordable and attainable for local students. For some students, the Promise wasn’t just an opportunity to achieve their college dream, but also to help younger generations do the same. In this series, we feature interns from the Summer Associates program talking about their experience.
Chandani Battle is a current Economics major at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She has lived in Richmond, Ca her whole life and graduated from El Cerrito High School in 2018. As a business student who is passionate about positive social change, she is always looking for ways to incorporate social justice into all that she does. This is why learning about the opportunity to work with The Youth Finance Institute of America (YFIA) through Richmond Promise seemed like the perfect opportunity for her. Being able to contribute to people learning the important and necessary information about personal finance has been an amazing experience and it has been especially rewarding to work in Richmond, her home.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Expand on hardships/motivational factors that influence you to this day.
A: “I am a Richmond native who was raised here and plan to live here after college. I started playing tennis with the city of Richmond when I was 9 years old and still play and coach youth to this day. My family is everything to me. My main motivation comes from them. For me, my success isn’t just mine, it’s ours. So knowing I have my family behind my back and always supporting me is the reason I always keep pushing and the reason I will get my degree no matter what.”
Q: How has the Richmond Promise played a role in your education?
A: “They have provided necessary funds for my education, as they have for so many other Richmond scholars. I know that they are available as a source of support for all Richmond Promise scholars when we need it. It’s helpful to know that they are there if needed. They have also given me the opportunity to be a summer associate with YFIA and pursue two of my interests: finance and social justice. I have learned and grown a lot this summer and it’s eye-opening to see what I can possibly do with my degree in economics and my passion for positive social change.”
Q: What do you want to contribute to Richmond or the world?
A: “Richmond is my home and I’m very proud of that. As such, I feel it’s our responsibility to contribute what we can to our home. I want to contribute anything positive that I can. It has always been the goal to do what I can for my community and others. Whether this is using my personal and educational experiences, volunteering for multiple causes, or working with nonprofits such as YFIA, I want to help to make sure people are in the best place and free to live the life they want and work to dismantle different injustices present in Richmond and the world.”
Q: Can you tell us about your current college experience?
A: “My current college experience hasn’t been the best. Going to school across the country where I didn’t know anyone deemed itself harder than I expected. It was hard for me academically being on my own on top of everything else that goes on in college for many students has been difficult, but I have always felt supported by my family and friends especially, as well as different people and programs at my school. I have taken some really interesting classes with great professors and met amazing people though. College is a challenge but it definitely one that I am grateful to have.”
Q: What are you looking forward after receiving your bachelor’s/transferring?
A: “I’m looking forward to being independent and being able to focus even more on giving back and helping out. I look forward to feeling like the degree and all of the work and sacrifices were worth it. I am also really excited to hopefully be able to travel often!”