Welcome back to Camp Promise Spotlight series! This month we are talking with Camp Promise-East camper, Alan Chaulet. Alan is a great guy who is trying to change the world for the better – both for himself and everyone else. It’s an honor to get to share a little more about him and what he’s doing for the community.
- Name: Alan Chaulet
- Camper or Volunteer: Camper
- Camps Attended: East
- Years in Attendance: 4 years
- Cabin(s): Black
- Favorite TV Show: Simpsons
- Favorite Song: Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin
- Favorite Food: Nutella
- Dream Job: Entrepreneur and Investor
- Place to Travel: Paris
How would you describe yourself?
Optimistic and determined.
Where did you go to college, and what was your degree in?
I graduated in 2013 from Bentley University with a degree in management.
What was your experience at Bentley like?
It was really tough and being able to graduate is one of my proudest achievements. The independence I had was incredible. My PCA would drop me off in the morning and I was all by myself until they picked me up in the afternoon. I got stuck in a few elevators, couldn’t really eat lunch, and had to hold in my pee far too long on some days, but I did it. I didn’t have much fun though because keeping up with all the work took so much from me. I was able to make some amazing friends who have been a huge part of my life since graduating though.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working for All Wheels Up and I’ve been a part of it as a partner with our founder Michele Erwin since 2014. We’re the only organization working to make airplanes accessible and our work recently proved wheelchairs flying in the cabin is possible. This came from our work getting a feasibility study made that showed there are no engineering or design challenges that make it not possible to have a wheelchair secured in the cabin. For years, people called us crazy for even trying this and we’ve proved them all wrong. We’ve added so many amazing people recently, funded some huge projects, raised a lot of money thanks to our incredible donors, and have so much planned, including having the disability community work more directly with us. I work from home and our team is everywhere around the country. When I graduated from college in 2013, nobody would hire me in large part because of my disability and few jobs could be done from home. Now remote work and work from home are so common in the business world that so many job opportunities are open to people with disabilities. This is really important to me because they give us the independence to work like everyone else and more ability to create businesses or nonprofits.
Could you tell a little more about All Wheels Up? How did you get involved in the project and where do you want it to go?
I’ve been working as Michele’s partner since 2014 and wear so many hats. I build and maintain our website, run our social media, work on our advocacy, deal with our fundraising, research everything from regulations and aviation, attend summits, give speeches, speak with the media, work on several of our committees, and much more. Every day I’m doing something new. Right now I am building our social media strategy, donor database, marketing plan, and analytics. I’m trying to pass some of my responsibilities on to other people so I can focus more on our main work. It’s quite stressful having to keep up with everything on social media, look for things to share with our followers, and build our brand. I really want to build our social media brand as experts in disabled travel. As we work to make airplanes accessible, the disabled travel industry is growing bigger and bigger as the population ages. We want to make sure destinations around the world are fully accessible. Our followers really like to see what is being done to make travel accessible. Society still discriminates and largely doesn’t care about people with disabilities and they deserve to know how transportation, travel, and tourism is becoming more accessible to them. Only a few organizations cover disabled travel and we want our supporters to also know what is being done in all the parts of travel, what new technologies like autonomous vehicles could do in the future, news of how places are becoming more accessible, and empower them to confidently explore the world.
That’s all very wonderful. Let’s learn a little bit more about you now – what’s some of your hobbies or things you do in your free time?
I love movies, TV, sports, and Twitch.
What about an interesting skill you have that people may or may not know about? My trivia knowledge.
What’s your favorite kind of trivia then? Do you have an interesting fact you could share with us?
Movie trivia. Forrest Gump, Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction, and Shawshank Redemption were all in theaters at the same time.
Last question, how would you describe camp in one phrase. What does camp mean to you?
Having an accessible and fun experience with so many of my disabled friends where we’re all treated equally and have great independence.