- Last Updated on Thursday, 30 December 2021 17:16
Chantelle Bellavance, a Mon Valley resident and graduate of Ringgold High School, is achieving success in her chosen field—and beyond.
After graduating from the Community College of Allegheny County in 2017 with an Associate of Science degree in Mathematics & Sciences, she returned to earn a Certificate in Computer Aided Drafting & Design, and then she earned a Bachelor of Science in Energy and Sustainability at Penn State University. She is currently working as a technical analyst in network operations at a large telecommunications company.
Bellavance has also found recent success as a children’s book author. “Little, Love Yourself from the Inside Out” was published in September and is getting rave reviews. The book is designed to help children learn to build self-confidence and acceptance of themselves and others while showing them how to work through difficult feelings.
“Many times, as a child, our feelings can be overwhelming and confusing. Open dialogue on mental health at an early age can make a world of difference,” said Bellavance. “It was my goal for every child to have the ability to see themselves within the pages of the book.”
Bellavance, who has suffered from anxiety and depression in the past, loves the fact that mental health is no longer a taboo subject. She believes it is very important to speak “words of life affirmation” to kids, and to let them know it’s OK to reach out and talk to somebody when they’re feeling down. Diversity is displayed throughout the book, so children of all backgrounds and abilities can identify with the characters. The mother of two young children said the book has sparked some good conversations with her 5-year-old, and her 3-year-old loves the rhymes. Among her fans are elementary school teachers who have incorporated the book into their curriculum as well as a therapist who is using it with special needs children.
The author is also the founder of the Bellavance STEM Scholarship that provides non-healthcare STEM scholarships to CCAC students—the first scholarship will be awarded this fall. While attending CCAC, she saw a need to provide networking opportunities for STEM students, so she started a STEM Club at South Campus. Since graduation, she has been invited back several times to speak about her experiences at the college.
“Small class sizes, personable relationships with faculty and professors, affordable tuition and the ability to manage school while working made CCAC an obvious choice,” she said. “CCAC helped to shape my career and provided me with opportunities that I didn’t receive while at a large university. I hold my time at CCAC close to my heart and am grateful for the education and relationships I received.”
“Little, Love Yourself from the Inside Out” is published through Ingram Spark and is currently available online at Target, Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as in local Barnes & Noble stores throughout the region.