I love hearing the news that a former student is making waves in writing. In my One to Watch series, I highlight up and coming former students who are using writing to do great things.
Chantel Carnes was in my Advanced Placement Language and Composition course five years ago when I taught at Sacramento Charter High School. She was one of those young writers whose papers I would place at the bottom of the stack when I was grading. It wasn’t fair to the other students for me to see hers first. She tended to set the bar pretty high.
One reason why I adore Facebook is because it lets me stay in touch with my former students after they’ve gone away to college and beyond. Today, I came across this piece about Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show in SF State’s Golden Gate Xpress by my former student Chantel Carnes as I scrolled through my Facebook feed. I had an inkling while I taught at Sac High that my students would be the huge earthmovers in the change that has been too long a time in coming. When I read pieces like Ms. Carnes’, I know that I was not wrong.
After a full day of back-to-back classes, Chanel Carnes was nice enough to take time to answer a couple of my questions.
Me: What are your hopes with writing in your future?
Chante Carnes: I hope to transfer my writing to broadcast. I want to reach a large audience and talk about topics that interest people. I love entertainment but I also want to discuss social issues. I want to one day have my own platform where I can talk about the Grammys and its winners but then switch to social controversies.
Me: What are you working on now?
CC: Currently I’m working on a variety of articles centered on the Grammy’s and its performances. I’m also working on a new blog that will express my social views and opinion.
Me: What would you say to a young writer coming up?
CC: To a young writer starting out, I would say to always make time for writing. Never get so wrapped up in life that you stop writing the things you want to talk about, also make connections. Networking is the best tool.
In her article for San Francisco State University’s Golden Gate Xpress, Ms. Carnes asks, “How can standing up against police brutality be racist, but the brutality itself isn’t?”
Good question, my wonderful former student. Very good question.
I look forward to reading more of Chantel Carnes’ byline as she continues to demand the hard answers and uses her writing to get them.
For more of Chantel Carnes’ work, check out previous articles: http://goldengatexpress.org/author/chantel-carnes/
Cover drawing by Eva Rodriguez