Camelot Chicago Alumna is Advocate for Her Community

 In Camelot Blog

Many alumni of Camelot schools graduate with a vision for their lives.

Some return to Camelot, becoming teachers and staff members. Others move on to careers in a profession, the military or the trades. But for some, the cries of an oppressed and disenfranchised community are too loud to ignore. They see themselves as an instrument to motivate society and individuals to become better human beings.

Camelot Excel Academyalumna Angel Buckley, who is now attending Chicago State University, was moved into action by the increasing number of young Black women who have turned up either dead or missing in the city since March.

On June 12th, Buckley posted the following statement on her Facebook page: “I’m joining forces with moms on the South Side to carpool young girls too and from school to fight back against the evil that’s doing work in our city and make sure our girls are safe. Please, if you have free time in the mornings or afternoons, sign up to give rides.”

The purpose-driven young woman credits Camelot with helping her reach for her dreams. She is currently studying for a bachelor of science in political science and a bachelor of arts in public relations. She graduated from Excel Academy Roseland in 2014.

Excel Academy of Roseland is an accelerated school of choice for students that are 15-21 years old and are behind in their studies. The program offers an extended day, where students can earn up to 5 credits per semester and 10 credits per year. This allows students to graduate in 2.5 years or less. Excel Academy is dedicated to creating a challenging, academically rigorous, and safe environment for all students.

“Attending Excel Academy enabled me to graduate on time. We had moved here from another location and had a credit deficiency. So I would have graduated a year behind,” she said. “Excel Academy was extremely beneficial for me. I developed close relationships with my teachers and the staff members. They teach the students how to carry themselves as respectful young men and women and to demonstrate that respect toward each other. They definitely prepared me for life.”

Buckley said that she is a first-generation college student but came from a background that was supportive of education. When she graduated from Camelot, she had a five-year plan. She knew life would present opportunities for her.

“A lot of our youth don’t understand or even see the possibilities beyond their communities,” she said. “Right now I’m a full-time student but I also felt I had a duty to be active in the community, so I have to build around my studies. But if something is important, you make the time.”

Since March, seven young women have been murdered or been reported missing in Chicago. Six of them are Black. According to The Black Youth Project, Black girls and women are the primary targets of the spate of kidnappings and murders in the South Side. Many residents do not feel like the local police department is doing enough. Residents are starting many initiatives on their own to protect Black girls and women in the area.

Buckley said that even though the city has an extensive public transportation system, there is a lack of accessibility for poorer residents. That lack of accessibility is one of the many things that must change. She said local, state and the federal government must provide programs that inspire young people to see the opportunities that exist beyond their immediate environment. Economics, she said, can’t be permitted to determine their futures.

“We have to rise and resist until there is an end to oppression in our communities,” she said. “Until there is no poverty and no injustice we, as a people can’t quit. My goals are to go on to grad school in a JD-MBA program; that will allow me to attain a degree in law and also a master’s in business administration. Ultimately I want to open my own law firm and have a legal clinic for Black and Hispanic youth looking to help our disenfranchised community.”

Watch a video of Angel here.

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