As a University at Albany junior completing a semester abroad, Chante Mayers-Barbot fell in love with South Africa. Thanks to a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) scholarship, she’ll return there in January to spend nearly a full year as a United States cultural ambassador – an opportunity that will allow her to immerse herself in the country’s way of life and customs while imparting some valuable linguistic skills to her students.
During her earlier visit, Mayers-Barbot tutored and mentored young children, an “amazing” experience. Her goal during her 10-month stay in 2017 will be to “learn as much as I teach, while increasing mutual understanding” between the U.S. and South Africa.
“Someone’s socioeconomic status can greatly affect the resources or opportunities available to them,” Mayers-Barbot said. “I believe that education is the most effective way for social change and development of a society.”
Mayers-Barbot, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., was an Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) student and a sociology major at UAlbany. A tutor in the University’s Science & Technology Entry Program (STEP) and a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Kappa Delta honor societies, she was also a volunteer for Bottom Line, a non-profit that encourages low-income and first-generation students to enroll and remain in college.
The Fulbright program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.