Chantal Lawrence, NYC Civic Corps Member
Welcoming visitors and immigrants to New York City is my "BLANK." I am a global ambassador for the city that I love and am proud to call home.
Twice a month, I volunteer as a greeter for Big Apple Greeter. Big Apple Greeter is a non-profit organization that pairs local New Yorkers with visitors so that they may see New York City through the eyes of a New Yorker for a day. As a greeter, I take visitors to various neighborhoods around New York City so that they can discover all of the various communities that make New York a very special place to live. During our walk, I share with visitors my favorite places to eat, shop, and have fun. I also share with them the experiences I have had living in New York.
My favorite places to take visitors are to Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Flatbush, Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Park, Park Slope, DUMBO, Williamsburg, and Coney Island. I was born and raised in Brooklyn and I love telling stories about growing up in Flatbush and all of the fun things they can see and do in the borough.
My favorite greet was on Election Day 2008, when I brought a visitor from Sao Paulo, Brazil to my neighborhood so that he could witness the many Americans who lined-up to cast their vote in the Presidential Election. Once it was my turn to enter the voting booth, I invited him to join me and I explained to him the voting process and together we pulled the lever together after I made my choices! We then went to an election-results party at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO and watched together as Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States.
I like learning about my visitors, their hometowns, and what they like to do for fun. Through Big Apple Greeter, I have met visitors from France, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Sweden, and from other U.S. states. I was featured in the travel section of The Daily Courier, an Australian newspaper and have been interviewed by Let’s Travel, a NYC-based internet travel radio show. Big Apple Greeter has truly given me the chance to be a global ambassador for the city that I love and am proud to call home.
It was through my volunteer work at Big Apple Greeter that I learned of the NYC Civic Corps. Through the NYC Civic Corps, I am working at The Mayor’s Office of Operations to improve the lives of immigrant New Yorkers who have come to New York City to seek out a better future for themselves and their families.