UA Grad Named to International Literacy Association’s 30 Under 30 List

From the February 2021 Desktop News | UA graduate Candace Chambers was recently named among the top 30 young leaders globally working to improve literacy. Chambers, who received a master’s degree in English at UA, has always wanted to use her gift of writing to help others. As a tutor in the writing center, instructor for first-year students, and community outreach volunteer, her goal was to teach her students how to advocate for themselves through their writing.

Now a PhD student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Chambers is still making an impact in the community around her. After receiving her master’s from UA, she founded Educational Writing Services, LLC, providing editorial services and college coaching to high school students, and conducting college-readiness workshops with over 500 students throughout the nation. Chambers also published Write Your Way to a Successful Scholarship Essay, which serves as a guide to help high school students write stand-out essays for scholarship applications.

“I wanted to work with students of color and students in lower socioeconomic communities, because that’s where I came from,” Chambers said. “By exposing these students to the tools of literacy, especially with scholarship essays, there are more doors open for them. They might go to a school they never thought they would, and maybe travel outside of their community and get new cultural experiences that they wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise.”

When she’s not in class or working at Educational Writing Services, Chambers teaches English composition to students at a local community college, and to incarcerated students through online programs. This work, she says, is also instrumental for increasing literacy rates.

“Teaching incarcerated populations is especially important because the skill of writing is something they can take with them after the ending of the course,” Chambers said. “Writing skills are important because they contribute to students’ development of their voices. Whether in academic, social, or professional realms, understanding methods of effective writing allows for clarity of communication and can yield opened doors of opportunity and access.”