Chance was raised in Alaska, instilling in him a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of the state, the opportunities for recreation, and the unique and rich culture that is ever-present in its residents. He grew up climbing mountains, and skiing down them, before receiving his Bachelor of International Relations and Environmental Studies from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He then spent almost five years in the United States Peace Corps in Paraguay as a Community Environmental Conservation volunteer. Placed in the small community of Óga Itá, Chance worked with the 25 or so families to implement projects that would not only positively impact the socio-economic status of each family, but also the conservation of remaining parcels of Atlantic Rainforest and biodiversity corridors. He got his hands dirty in family gardens, planted shade-grown yerba mate, laughed, walked, made chipá (Paraguayan cheesy cornbread), learned to fluently speak Guaraní and Spanish, walked and laughed some more, and drank traditional Paraguayan iced tea with the community members.
With a deep understanding of building community relationships and partnerships, Chance then moved to the capital, Asunción, to work as the Coordinator of the Environmental Conservation Program within Peace Corps Paraguay in order to form new volunteer opportunities and build partnerships with other organizations, such as World Wildlife Fund, Guyra Paraguay, local BirdLife International member, A Todo Pulmón, a local reforestation non-profit, as well as the United States Embassy in Paraguay. In this role, Chance also served as a contact and support staff for Peace Corps’ Intercultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion program, providing support for volunteers within the LGBTQ+ community and working with Peace Corps staff to build equity for LGBTQ+ volunteers and host country nationals alike.
In 2019, Chance returned to Anchorage, excited for the opportunity to engage with his own community and strengthen Alaskans’ action for equity, diversity, and social justice. He brings with him a strong love for storytelling and the impact that our personal narratives can have. He believes we all have a story to tell and that each of us has the power to make change and create understanding with our own unique narratives.
Contact Chance regarding grants, scholarships, donating, and volunteering in Alaska.