Chaz Del Mar

Chaz's Journey


Chaz Del Mar


Philosophy and Peace and Conflict Studies


Harvest, Alabama

I first heard about Grinnell College when I was recruited to play football. When I visited the campus, my first thought was that it was too cold. I soon warmed up to it, however, and I have met lifelong friends and become part of the intentional community that the College fosters.

Chaz Del Mar sitting on park bench

Enjoying nature in front of the Tennessee River as a high school senior


GCFB Last play in OT

We were able to get a stop on fourth down on the goal line to win the game.


I found my first Grinnell family through football, and I’ve enjoyed watching how the program has grown over my 4 years. Recently, I joined the basketball team, and they have been very welcoming as I have discovered my role on the team.

Alternative Break

Chaz in front of musical wall art
Memphis Museum of art sign
Chaz and other student near water front(Very green water)
Group of students in photo wearing life jackets
Chaz group photo with students with light post behind them
Chaz's page group of students in front of wall art on side of building
Chaz's group standing under fake art tree
Chaz photo of community clean up volunteer work
Clean up of trash off the side of boat
Group photo on boat with collected trash
Cleaning crew walking through woods
group of students in small metal boat relaxing

During my first year, I spent a week of my spring break in Memphis for an environmental stewardship Alternative Break trip. We worked with Living Lands and Waters, an organization based in Iowa that travels the Mississippi River to clean it and protect the environment. I liked that the leaders intentionally picked people with varying degrees of experience and from different class years. After the trip, I joined the board which helps support new service trips every year. The following summer, I returned to Memphis to meet with other Alt-Break leaders and learn about the education system in Memphis.

Group of students pose by side of building
Large group photo Chaz's journey

Breakaway Dance

Summer Internship

After my first year, I interned with Grinnell alum David Calvert '75 at Youth Action YouthBuild in East Harlem, NY. Mr. Calvert started the nonprofit 43 years ago to address the housing crisis by providing permanent, low-income housing. The program supports youth in getting their GED, learning job skills in construction and food service, and finding jobs after the program. The internship was fully funded (including housing, travel, and food) by the Center for Careers, Life, and Service.


History of Afro-Futurism

Chaz reading book in chair

During my last summer at Grinnell, 3 other students and I were lucky enough to be a part of a Mentored Advanced Project with Professor Makeba Lavan researching for a book she was writing. The topic was early Afrofutures, and we looked at texts from the 18 th  and 19 th  centuries to contextualize the rise of Black modernity and, as Professor Makeba Lavan says, “the ways in which early Black writers imagined worlds where they were free: first as subjects writing autobiographies and later as artists crafting futurity through printing presses.”



My favorite part about Grinnell is the people! I was caught off guard by the kindness of the campus community and am grateful for the lifelong friends that I have made along the way. Grinnell does a good job of funding student-hosted events, ranging from movies and concerts to the International Student Organization's Food Bazaar and Block Party.

I love that students all work together to accomplish goals and support each other. For me, this support comes through study breaks and meals — two things essential to my success at Grinnell.

Future Plans

Hero Image with Text

I don't know what the future holds for me. One thing I do know, however, is that I would like to work in mental health, even if it is just a stepping stone along my path. Later this spring, I’ll travel to Portugal with my Conflict Analysis class as we discover why it is one of the most peaceful countries in the world according to the Global Peace Index. I'll also examine how their mental health views and practices differ from those in the United States.

If you enjoyed this story and want to engage further with the Office of Admission, you can  request information,  explore the  Admission events and opportunities , or connect with the Admission interns directly:

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