Abby Schottenfels

Student Info

Graduation Year:
May 2012

What have you done since graduating and where are you now?
After graduating from RCAH I moved to  Providence, Rhode Island for an Americorps program called City Year. I was a corps member serving at Gilbert Stuart Middle School in an underprivileged area of Providence. City Year provides direct interventions to students using a “near to peer” model of coaching for academic, attendance and behavior issues. Post-City Year, I moved to Philadelphia to do an Americorps VISTA position at Sayre High School. At Sayre, I was a Partnerships Coordinator; I coordinated and expanded programming for the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania. Once my VISTA term was completed, I accepted a job working in the City of Philadelphia's Mayor's Office of Education. At the Mayor's Office I am a Communications Manager for the city-wide college access agency PhillyGoes2College. In that position, I am in charge of all communications and outreach for our programing and services throughout the city. Our initiative serves as route finder for Philadelphia residents to get necessary college access resources. With 20 sites located in computer labs in libraries and parks and recreation centers, we train already existing staff personnel to be college access experts. Along with this, we update a comprehensive, coherent and functional website with information specific to Philadelphia. I have come to know Philadelphia as wonderful city and an excellent place to call home. At least for now!

How did RCAH prepare you for what you're doing now?
RCAH prepared me immensely for my career. RCAH sparked my interest in urban education which I have focused my job path around. Our conversations on privilege and systems of oppression have shaped the way I view the unequal structure of the American education system. I go to work with a critical eye and an understanding that many lack. Intersectionalism and empathy are the cornerstones of my social justice practice, which are both concepts I learned via the RCAH.

What were your academic interests in RCAH?
I focused many of my studies around education and critical theory. I did My Brother’s Keeper, I took Harry Potter and poetry with Anita, string band, and Aronoff’s sci-fi class.

What were your favorite aspects of the RCAH experience?
The community aspect. We have cultivated an incredible culture by all supporting each others ideals, ideas, and passions in a way that I think cannot be found anywhere else on campus. I loved when we took discussions outside of the classroom to the dorm hallways and caf.

What words of wisdom do you have for current RCAH students?
Do not feel bad about taking an eclectic course load. As a student, I was always very worried that I was directionless. After graduation I found that through taking many different types of classes, I was able to identify my skill set and interests in ways that might not come as easy to someone without a liberal arts degree!