Student Spotlight: Chloe Grant
February 21, 2020
Chloe is a junior English major, creative writing minor at VCU looking to graduate in 2021. She is a vegan and a runner. She does her best to live sustainably and to empower those around her. She currently works in the nonprofit world, advocating for childhood literacy and foster care/adoption. She plans to be a high school English teacher upon graduating. When she’s not on campus, she can likely be found at work or in a coffee shop.
Did you always know you wanted to study English? What made you decide to be an English major?
English was not on my radar as a major until very late into my senior year of high school. I’d intended on pursuing a career in musical theatre, with the end goal of teaching. I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, I just wasn’t sure what the path would look like for me to get there. After doing some soul searching, my English teachers helped guide me into the major. I could not be more grateful.
Chloe, you are so involved! Can you tell us a bit about your involvement in groups and organizations both in VCU and in the community?
Absolutely! I work as a Program Assistant for One Richmond, One Book which is a city-wide reading initiative where all Richmond City Public Schools elementary students read the same book, at the same time. During the event, I’m predominantly in the schools leading lessons with the kids, and throughout the rest of the year, I create lessons, activities, and assembly scripts for the chosen titles. In addition to working at Read to Them, I’m an intern for Virginia’s Kids Belong, a local nonprofit that is focused on solving the foster care crisis in Virginia. I work as their Digital Marketing Coordinator. Outside of work I mentor a youth at Carver Elementary, I’ve been working with the same amazing student for the past year. This past spring I was also awarded the Balent Young Publishing Scholarship from the VCU English Department.
You've also worked on plain china (undergraduate literary journal) at VCU for multiple semesters. What appeals to you about it? Do you have any favorite pieces that have been published?
plain china was such a unique experience for me. It really helped me figure out what I like to read and what I find mundane. As someone who considers themselves a writer, this experience was transformative to my style. I found it so fascinating to be reading pieces from other undergrad writers — it was inspiring! I worked as a CNF editor for my first semester, it was my first real exposure to the genre, and it’s what brought me to realize CNF is my primary genre of interest. In addition to my role as an editor, I also helped run social media. My second go around in the class I became a CNF Lead Editor, as well as the social media head. I’d have to say my favorite piece I came across was “Don’t Pick Corn Before It’s Ripe and Other Lessons” by Morgan Corona, University of California. A close second is a piece of poetry called “Small Hearts” which hasn’t been released yet, so keep an eye out for it in Plain China’s future issues!
What do you like to read outside of class?
Outside of the coursework for class, I’m not a huge fiction reader. I dabble in creative nonfiction and poetry every chance I get. My favorite poet is Ada Limón: I think she’s a genius. I had the pleasure of meeting her last year during the Visiting Writers Series — I cried!
What would be your dream course within the English major?
Per the previous question, a topics course on Ada Limón. I read a piece for a course earlier composed of letters between Natalie Diaz (another excellent poet) and Ada Limón and found the concept brilliant. In addition to reading all things Ada, I’d also be interested in a class made up of epistolary works.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I’m hoping to teach in Richmond! I’ve fallen in love with the city, and after working with RPS for the past year or so, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. I’m looking to pursue an extended degree and go straight into my Masters in Teaching after finishing my undergraduate coursework. From there I hope to jump right into the classroom! A long term goal of mine is to hold a position of office advocating for some much needed educational reform (among other areas), but for the time being, I’m jazzed to be in the classroom.
Thanks for catching up with us, Chloe!
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