ER Senior Wins Princeton Prize for Race Relations

East Rochester Senior Wins Princeton Prize for Race Relations
Senior Chantel McCrea East Rochester High School Senior Chantel McCrea has been honored by Princeton University for her dedication and work toward racial equity in the East Rochester community. McCrea and family gathered outside the high school on March 26 to be surprised to learn she is one of only 28 high school students in the country to be selected as a Princeton Prize in Race Relations winner. 

Principal Dr. Casey van Harssel nominated McCrea in recognition of her leadership and vision of the Diversity Ambassadors and their influence on the East Rochester School and community. In addition, her work has influenced districts all around NYS through her video shared as part of a work session at the annual SAANYS conference. 

As founding member of East Rochester High School’s Diversity Ambassadors, McCrea and her group have reached several hundred area students and teachers. Her work has fostered community-wide self awareness while generating positivity and understanding. Following a district-wide climate survey that revealed race-related tensions among students, teachers and families that had previously been unacknowledged, and inspired by the book, “The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas, McCrea initiated a series of student- staff roundtables with candid discussions and sustained dialogue on race and difficult racial issues.

In addition, McCrea has participated in faculty meetings that discussed aspects of cultural responsiveness, one as a student panelist and one as a co-facilitator, alongside a college professor, using the sustained dialogue protocol. In addition, McCrea came into school on her day off to co-facilitate two sustained dialogue workshops as part of a professional learning opportunity for staff across grades Prek-12. 

Dr. van Harssel said, “Over these last two years, I have had a front-row seat to the evolution of Chantel cultivating her leadership style and voice...While being able to quantify Chantel’s impact on East Rochester’s shift in cultural responsiveness may be difficult, I can say with 100% certainty that we would not be where we currently are on the journey without Chantel’s leadership, drive and passion.” 

Since the announcement was made, McCrea has shared that she has been accepted to her "dream school," Northwestern.

Read more about Chantel here.

We are so proud of you, Chantel!

Princeton Prize in Race Relations

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations (PPRR) recognizes and rewards high school students who, through their volunteer activities, have undertaken significant efforts to advance racial equity and understanding in their schools or communities.Recipients receives an award of $1,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to a Symposium on Race at Princeton University, where they meet and engage with other Prize winners from across the country. Unfortunately, this year’s symposium, which was to be held April 23-25, has been canceled due concerns related to coronavirus.





Senior Chanel McCrea
East Rochester High School Senior Chantel McCrea was presented with the Princeton Prize for Race Relations outside the school on March 26. Jocelyn Goldberg-Schaible, a local Princeton alumni, surprised McCrea and family by announcing she was the regional winner and one of only 28 in the country.


Senior Chanel McCrea
Senior Chantel McCrea and family
Senior Chanel McCrea