Chantal Joseph Launches The Giving Grace Foundation


Photo by The Giving Grace Foundation

Chantal Joseph graduated Barnstable High School in 2006.

Philip Randazzo, Staff Writer

In March 2020, Chantal Joseph who graduated Barnstable High School in 2009 wanted to start a memorial scholarship fund to honor her two brothers who passed away. This had been an idea brewing in Joseph’s mind for two years, but did not meet fruition until the pandemic. A year ago, Joseph was working closely with youth in underserved communities as well as homeless children, inspiring her to expand the memorial scholarship idea into The Giving Grace Foundation.  

The Giving Grace Foundation was officially launched on Nov. 30, 2020, but Joseph had been working on the back-end work and business planning since last April. According to Joseph, the main mission of The Giving Grace Foundation is to empower the youth who come from underserved and at-risk backgrounds through arts and education programs as well as scholarship opportunities. In order to properly execute this mission, Joseph offers financial assistance and access towards participation in arts programs (such as music lessons or dance classes), cultural experiences via in and out of school, and education in life skills like financial literacy. These are separated into three specific core programs: financial aid, workshops, and the Academic Scholarship Program.

When forming The Giving Grace Foundation, a fond memory from Joseph’s childhood came to mind. Joseph has been a lover of the arts, especially music, since elementary school and she yearned to play the clarinet with the school band. In third grade her clarinet skills began to excel, but unfortunately her mother could not afford to rent it full time. Preparing herself to return the clarinet and drop out of the school band, the band director pulled her aside and informed Joseph that she would be receiving a scholarship, allowing her to maintain her position in the school band. 

“At age 32 I remember that very moment when the band director pulled me aside,” Joseph said. “Who knew that it would essentially change my life?” 

— Joesph

As a first generation Haitian American, Joseph knows how it feels to be a kid who may need a “leg up” because according to Joseph, she was that kid. Since a scholarship assisted Joseph in continuing her clarinet lessons, she “just wants to pay it forward.” 

Workshops are temporarily being held online due to COVID-19, but art workshops are intended to be led by local artists of different art forms including music, visual arts, and theater. Starting this summer The Giving Grace Foundation will offer a virtual option for the schools and other organizations as well as to the general public, and are planning on doing some in-person workshops as well. When it comes to their life skills workshops, topics that will be covered include financial literacy, job preparation, and maintaining an emotional well-being, Joseph said. The first roll out will be the Financial Literacy workshops which we will be offering to high school students as well as kids who are in foster care facilities and homeless shelters. These life skills workshops will be led by various local industry professionals. 

In addition to these primary workshops, public workshops will be offered to outside organizations and vary depending on the situation, but they will be available at a low price regardless. 

Although the foundation is stationed in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Joseph is hoping to gradually extend her services to Cape Cod as well. She has collaborated with Independence House, a Cape Cod organization that assists survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Currently Joseph is working with Amplify POC, an organization that brings awareness to businesses owned by people of color on Cape Cod, in order to help bridge the racial wealth gap that exists on the Cape.   

“We want to close the opportunity gap,” Joseph said. “We believe that all kids deserve equal opportunities to the tools that help them thrive no matter what socioeconomic status.” 

Outside of building the foundation, Joseph is a musician, primarily a vocalist. As an independent artist she does live performances under her own name, and she provides vocals, songwriting, and studio work for a variety of bands. However, her life does not solely revolve around music. She  is also interested in the fashion industry (she was a personal stylist at one point), fitness, and holistic wellness like breathwork and crystal healing. 

English teacher Meghan Fligg, who met Joseph when they were both in fifth grade and was a part of the same circle of friends, is not surprised that Joseph started The Giving Grace Foundation. According to Fligg, Joseph was always involved in the arts; she participated in the school choir, took drama and theater arts, and created her own music. Not only did Joseph excel in music during high school, but she also received recognition for her excellence in academics and track. After graduating from BHS, Joseph went on to sing at weddings and shows, which Fligg was sometimes lucky to attend.

“She’s mesmerizing and brings such an energy to her performances. People can’t help but dance and move,” Fligg said.

According to Fligg, Joseph is humble, hardworking, and possesses “an innate sense of kindness.” 

“Music is something which helped her overcome some unimaginable adversity and loss in her life,” Fligg said. “It is so fitting that she has chosen to use this gift of hers to give back to others.”