Antoinette Kane, speaking at the Spirit Award 2015

Antoinette Kane is a 21 year-old Sociology major, who is beginning her senior year at Bard College. As a leader amongst her peers and within her community, Antoinette exemplifies the core values of the Spirit Award. She has achieved significant academic success and is committed to serving as a positive advocate for change.

When she was four years old, Antoinette witnessed the shooting of her mother. She heroically saved her mother’s life and identified the perpetrator. Giving her mother time to heal, Antoinette moved in with her grandfather and did not return to her mother’s care until she was nine. At the age of 14, Antoinette was placed in foster care and subsequently became responsible for her life decisions and survival. At 18, Antoinette decided to sign herself out of foster care. Determined to achieve success, Antoinette focused on her studies and realized education was the way to overcome the obstacles in her life.

After arriving at Bard College, Antoinette worked to establish herself as a student leader and social activist. She has led protests and campaigns to highlight the severity and prevalence of social issues such as systemic racism and gender inequality. Antoinette also helped launch Bard College’s first-ever peer mentor program, dedicated to helping teens in foster care, both socially and academically.

This educational scholarship will help pay for Antoinette’s academic expenses as she finishes her bachelor’s degree. Antoinette’s ultimate goal is to develop her own nonprofit organization dedicated to education, prison, and foster care reform.