Alexandra Pierre-Charles is a Product Stewardship & Regulatory Consultant at The Chemours Company, as well as this week’s #PeopleofWilmDE! Read her story below:
“I was born and raised on Long Island, New York with my mom and my two sisters. I went to catholic schools, Our Lady of Lourdes elementary and middle school, then the Academy of Saint Joseph Prep School, a girl’s only high school. I decided to go to Temple University to study chemistry. While some might think it’s torture to take any science class let alone major in it, I really enjoyed it! Everything we do in this life involves chemistry. A week after I graduated, I started working for Agilent Technologies in Wilmington. During my time there, I decided to go back to school for my master’s in chemistry at Villanova University concentrating in environmental chemistry. I wanted to gain more experience in the laboratory, so I moved on to work for The Chemours Company in 2018. I worked in the Fluorochemical R&D group for 2 and a half years as an analytical chemist at the Discovery Hub in Newark. Now, I moved into my new role at the Chemours Company headquarters in Wilmington as a regulatory consultant in March 2021. There has been a huge learning curve, but I love learning new things!
I always told myself that I would never live here. This isn’t where I want to be settled. But as I started to get acquainted with the area, I really loved being here. I love how peaceful Wilmington can be and at the same time I can find something fun to do. I get the hustle and bustle of Downtown, then head to the Brandywine Park for a peaceful walk; the best of both worlds. I also love that Wilmington is like the hub for traveling since cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Atlantic City are 30 minutes to an hour away so I can visit them when I want to!
I feel like being in Wilmington helped me come out of my shell. I was super quiet and shy when I was in Philadelphia, but working in Wilmington (especially for the Chemours Company!) has been very beneficial to evolving my personality. My confidence has grown, and I feel like I can do anything here. It’s easy to talk to people and build a network.
Being part of the community has been a great boost for me. I especially enjoy being part of my church community, the Wilmington Apostolic Pentecostal Church (WAPC). I have become friends with an amazing group of people whose love for the city emanates from their love of God. Pastor Stan Seth is a good man and a great teacher. He has a lot of passion for the Word and his congregation. I have found a lot of peace since joining this church and more understanding of others as I continue to study the Bible.
This year, I have been working with a group of colleagues to implement a new STEM program sponsored by the Chemours Company called The Chemours Future of Engineering, Science, Trades, and Technology School Partnership Program, or ChemFEST 2. While Chemours has existing STEM programs like Future of Chemistry Scholarship and Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) that focus primarily on high school and college students, ChemFEST 2 will focus on under-resourced middle schools to ensure that younger students are exposed to STEM during this impressionable age. This will be a multi-year partnership on a national and global level that creates sustainable programs with schools in all Chemours footprint communities. Chemourians will be dedicating our time, talent, and financial resources to these middle schools to nurture the next generation of diverse STEM workers. Our program is officially launching on November 8th, 2021 with the Chemours Wilmington Headquarters adopting two schools: The Eastside Charter School and the Serviam Girls Academy. I’m very excited to be the program developer for the Serviam Girls Academy being that I’ve been to an all-girls school. I’m eager to show these young girls that they are capable to doing anything they set their mind to, especially as it relates to STEM.
Covid has been a challenge for everyone for almost 2 years now. I’ve been reluctant to be out in the community since the Covid shutdowns first started, but now I have more confidence after receiving the Covid vaccination. I think everyone should just have respect for one another. If you choose not to get vaccinated, then at the very least continue to wear a mask and social distance.
I’m optimistic that the vibrant life of Wilmington will pick up without skipping a beat post-Covid. The support that has been generated for frontline workers is an example of the support this community has for each other. The Chemours Company has been a great example to the community of supporting not only its own employees during Covid, but also supporting our community in any way it can. That kind of support from a company is always hopeful.
My proudest moment of being a Wilmingtonian is when Joe Biden was announced President on the Riverfront. It was such an exciting time and just to see the crowd and all the excitement was invigorating. Joe Biden put a spotlight on Wilmington and Delaware that I believe it deserves.
I also love the July 4th firework show on the Riverfront. It is the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life! I normally watch fireworks like everyone does on that holiday, but never like that. I can’t even decide which way of watching that show is better: from the Constitution Yards or from the balcony of my apartment!
To the people living and working in Wilmington, my advice is to continue making this a great city by supporting each other, lending a hand, having conversations, and sharing culture. If you’re passionate about something, get it out there!
And remember that you don’t know what people are going through right now. This might be the hardest time of our lives, so a smile and a kind word really does wonders.”